Designed by Laura Gordon
We are delighted to launch our new publication of What’s the Point? A Case for Art in the Public Domain, a new compendium compiled by UP Projects including contributions by Maria Amidu (Artist), Suzanne Lacy (Artist), Justine Ludwig (Executive Director, Creative Time), Marti Manen (Director, Index Foundation), Andrea Mechelli (Professor of Early Intervention in Mental Health, Kings College London), and Torange Khonsari (Founding Director, public works) on the benefits of including progressive and inclusive contemporary art in our public spaces and places. We will be launching the six articles over the coming weeks on our social media platforms before the full publication becomes available as a free download.
As public art commissioners we are all too often asked ‘what’s the point of working with artists to create new work for public spaces?’ This question, posed by individuals and groups at various stages of the commissioning process, indicates that there is still work to be done to highlight the value of art that is located beyond the walls of our galleries and museums.
During the almost 20 years of our existence as an organisation that commissions and presents art in the public domain, we have encountered a broad spectrum of responses to our work. Ranging from excitement and enthusiasm (which is always great to see and hear) to disinterest and scepticism. We are as interested in the disinterested and the sceptical as we are in the positive, because it is in this feedback that we recognise that there is still more work to be done.
For this reason, UP Projects has compiled this publication and invited five contributors ranging from artists and curators to educators and scientists, asking them to respond to the provocation ‘what’s the point of working with artists to create new work for public spaces?’ Our hope is to bring you different perspectives on how public art provokes thought and communicates new ideas. Throughout the publication we underline how art in the public domain has a valuable role to play - how it can enrich social cohesion and contribute to our mental health and well-being as well as how it can catalyse connections between people, places and ideas.
In addition to our commissioned essays we have included a series of UP Projects case studies that demonstrate the various ways in which artists can help foster connections, draw out alternative narratives and present new ideas that relate to the places we frequent and inhabit.