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Art planned for Yeovil town centre streets

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Yeovil’s past and future will be celebrated and integrated into the town centre public areas through art concepts delivered in collaboration with Yeovil community groups interested in the arts and their role in the future of Yeovil town.

The Council carried out an open procurement exercise earlier in the year and following –interviews with a range of artists appointed YOU&ME Architecture in tandem with Beth Calverley, a poet who specialises in collaborating with community members to co-create poetry, to develop concepts for the delivery of art to integrate with the planned changes to the streets.

Work has been underway through 2021 to develop concepts and engage the community to inform the design process.  Due to the pandemic this has been done  remotely with local primary schools in the town, key employers such as Leonardo, the Yeovil arts community supported by Yeovil District Hospital’s Arts Co-ordinator and some traditionally hard to reach groups.  The aim of this work was to help animate the town centre through artwork and celebrate Yeovil’s past and future.

Engaged groups and stakeholders have explored various opportunities to celebrate the town’s past and future through art and have come up with a series of key themes to base artwork around:

  • Shapes of Yeovil submitted by the local community, inspired from the past heritage, present dynamic and future of Yeovil
  • Colourful and bright colour palette inspired by Yeovil in Bloom displays to create a welcoming face in Yeovil
  • Poetry co-creations and collage workshops with the local community groups, the outputs of which will be incorporated in the artworks
  • Civic pride.

Councillor Peter Gubbins, portfolio holder for Yeovil Refresh at South Somerset District Council, said: “Public art really gets people talking and it attracts visitors to the town centre and offers a really exciting experience that is more interesting for people. We are pleased to be working with so many different groups and local stakeholders to really try and put Yeovil on the map and make it a place where people want to live, work, learn and visit.”

Caroline Barnes, Art & Design Coordinator at Yeovil District Hospital, added: “The inclusion of innovative design and high quality Public Art in our town centre is a welcome development for our community. Here at the Hospital we have a collection of nearly 300 Art works for patients, visitors and staff to enjoy. We know that art can be an effective distraction in our hectic and diverse lives, the opportunity to be inspired and uplifted by your surroundings has health benefits for all and I look forward to visiting the exhibition in July.”

Concept ideas are currently being worked in to proposals and the work that went into these will be displayed at an exhibition in July at the Yeovil Art Space venue in the Quedam Shopping Centre. Once the full proposals are produced, we will release more details so you can view them.

Collage Maps from the consultation work. Image provided by YOU&ME Architecture

Image above: Collage Maps from the consultation work. Image provided by YOU&ME Architecture

Community consultation work from the consultation work. Image provided by YOU&ME Architecture

Image above: Collage Maps from the consultation work. Image provided by YOU&ME Architecture

Logos created from the consultation work. Image provided by YOU&ME Architecture

Above: Logos created from the consultation work. Image provided by YOU&ME Architecture

Zoe Li, Founder of Yeovil Art Space, said: “'Yeovil Art Space is a hub for sharing, learning and inspiring, we are delighted to be housing the exhibition in July and look forward to working with our partners in the local community.”

Final artwork that is created will be focused on the Triangle with a range of future ideas for the whole town centre. The public realm works at new events space to be constructed at The Triangle, with the community shapes and poetry content woven into the floor surfaces and amphitheatre seating as well as incorporated within three-dimensional artwork pieces.

Other ideas that could be explored across the town centre include illuminating public buildings with colours and poems associated with Yeovil and looking at street furniture and directional signs that could incorporate some of the artwork.

Visit the Yeovil Art Space website at www.yeovilartspace.uk to find out more about the projects they are involved in and also visit the Yeovil Refresh website at www.yeovilrefresh.co.uk for more information about the Yeovil Refresh programme and associated work.

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