Artists & Communities Commissions

Four featured artist commissions each connecting with local communities to develop work inspired by Weston’s coastline to be presented at the Promenade Weekender.

Selected Artists:

  • Kayle Brandon
  • Anna Chrystal Stephens
  • Abi Hubbard
  • Jen Green & Tina Hitchens

Kayle Brandon

Artist Bio

Kayle Brandon is an interdisciplinary artist situated in the public-social domain and working in regular collaboration and participation with other artists, communities and audiences. Her practice is process-led and centred in art and activismʼs potential to create autonomous explorations into social and spatial relationships that influence experiences of place and identity. Works often focus on interests in de-colonisation, open-source & cooperative movements, ecology, urbanism and peoples relationships to nature. Mediums include; performance, live events, time-based media, sculpture, textiles, drawing & writing.

Project Details

Kayle has been working with Weston’s Kitchen Table arts group, (some of who are also members of the Mudlarks / Supermares), throughout the summer with workshops overlooking the sea. Exploring the properties of Weston’s intertidal zone, and the glorious material qualities of its mud, the group have been experimenting with a variety of print and mark making methods, with wearable textile outcomes. Drawing inspiration from the cultural and mythological histories of water deities, hags and hybrids, in relation to womanhood and the murky waters of the ageing process, out of the mudflats Swamp Woman has risen up into life. Come and meet her.

Swamp Woman invite you to make your muddy mark on a big collective banner that will be raised to mark the start of the evening's Ceremonial Water Gathering event.

Swamp Woman invite you to be Swamp Woman with them regardless of gender, and to paint your bodies in mud before submerging into the marine lake together with a hum.

Swamp Woman invite you to bear witness as they emerge and adorn themselves with their wonderful unearthly muddy creations and parade along the causeway.

Anna Chrystal Stephens

Artist Bio

Anna uses sculpture, action and photography to explore living strategies, sustainability and the transition between nomadic and settled modes of survival. Often using defunct camping paraphernalia and survival gear alongside natural materials and recycled materials, Anna makes sculptures and objects with real or imagined purposes that make links between ancient techniques, outdoor skills and contemporary tools. She gathers and disperses environmentally-centered survival skills and craft processes through research, walks, discussions and workshops to investigate how these skills can be transformative and empowering. The objects and images she creates are a reaction to climate breakdown anxiety, as well as a celebration of attempts to reconnect with nature.

Project Details

A mollusc clambers up out of the sea. Beach-play detritus re-imagined as a portable camping kit forms an encumbered backpack. Items pondered on, uses re-invented like Ariel’s collection of mysterious artefacts. This colourful sculpture woven into a rusting fishermans ladder is a terrible joy. The salvage and reuse of just some of the items from one single litter pick, inviting us to consider the waste that gets drawn into our seas on a daily basis.

A new site-specific sculptural work created partly from litter from Weston’s beach after a Big Beach Clean event, and follow-on workshop where people of Weston learnt to make hand-twisted cordage with thin plastics, created 'beach kit' assemblages out of the litter and wove. The sculpture also incorporates Anna’s experiments with the innovative plastic recycling system 'Precious Plastic' through her time spent at Weston’s new PP resource hub.

Abi Hubbard

Artist Bio

Abi is a multidisciplinary artist whose practice sits at the intersection of arts, ecology and spirituality. She brings together costume, performance and participation through explorations into the esoteric and otherworldly, the weird and the wonderful. Her work often draws inspiration from natural world and peculiar organisms, and considers them in relation to the sculptural body in order to interrogate notions of contemporary identity to offer playful alternatives that celebrate the beauty of difference.

Abi’s recent project Polyester Paganism saw her create wearable sculptures inspired by slime mould, and how it reflects the queer community with its beautiful and alien transformative properties. Abi also works as a scenic painter in film, television and events.

Project Details

Abi has been exploring the curious ecosystems, and shapely micro-worlds of Bryozoa’s - simple, aquatic invertebrate creatures - commonly known as moss animals - that live upon Weston’s rocks. She is interested in the fluid and metamorphic nature of the bodies of these fascinating creatures which shift gender and reproduce in many different ways, and how this can act as a metaphor for the queer community. Thinking about the marks that fossils make upon rocks, and the preservation and protection of the existence of such sea-creatures, Abi has been creating new casts of Bryozoa’s as individual amulets - or good luck charms.

The amulets will then be tessellated together, like chain-mail armour that aims to protect the body of the wearer, whilst reflecting notions of community as a whole to consider our own inner and outer body landscapes.

This wearable sculptural installation will be accompanied by a sound piece with words contributed by Weston’s LQBTQIA+ community. Poems written and spoken by Tasha Mapes interspersed with words and sound by Abi Hubbard weaving together prompts from Lewis Prosser, Beth Greenhalgh and Alice Jennings.

Jen Green & Tina Hitchens

Artist Bio

Tina is an improviser, flautist, composer and sound artist who works in the fields of free improvisation, playing and writing in various musical groups, she also collaborates with artists working in other disciplines. Tina is interested in how the peripheries of sound connect with our environment, and how people experience themselves and others through sound. She is currently training as a music therapist.

Jen is a poet whose work focuses on small details in quiet places and connects them to universal things. A Bath Spa Nature & Travel Writing MA graduate, her poems have appeared in Elsewhere: A Journal of Place, and as a guest performance as part of River Echoes – a series of Deep Listening walks by audio-visual artist Kathy Hinde.

Project Details

Untold Skies is a new collaborative project between Jen Green and Tina Hitchens; a soundwalk for the Weston-Super-Mare seafront offering a creative perspective on sensory experience at the edges. Members of Humans of Weston Creative Recovery Group and Weston Artspace composed sounds and words through a series of music and writing workshops on Weston’s edgelands; its tidal, coastal nooks and crannies. The group zoomed in through deep listening and close-up mindful observation exercises, and zoomed out to reflect upon their own personal relationships to place and reflections on the coastline, exploring what it is to be at the edge of things and what the sea can bring to us.

The sound walk features words, field recordings, and improvised music created by workshop participants woven with the artists’ new work.

Tina & Jen would like to warmly thank Andy, Jo, Katie, Martyn, Nada, Reily, Sam, Scarlett, Zena, Bev of Humans of Weston, and Weston Artspace

Grains of Sand

Five new micro-commissions for early career artists from North Somerset in response to themes of Promenade, with outcomes presented at the Promenade Weekender. Led by Culture Weston and supported by West of England Visual Arts Alliance (WEVAA).

Selected Artists:

  • Germaine Budden
  • Amy Butlin
  • Rowan Colquhoun
  • Alice Cunningham
  • Move Until Dusk (MUD)

Germaine Budden

Memory of Water

Artist Bio

Geramine makes sculptural works and texts informed by natural materials and geological motifs, employing metaphor to foster empathy with the non-human experience. Her practice explores materials and processes, and how they communicate, and how we can apply this intuitive knowledge base to issues around the environment.

For Promenade

Germaine has been exploring the art of ‘Suminagashi’ - a traditional form of Japanese printmaking created by suspending ink on the surface of water to document the shape and movement of water and its response to wind and currents.

In response to the coastline of Weston super Mare, she has been creating intuitive prints in rock pools to experiment with the patterns created within these geological structures, interrupted by seaweed which imposes restrictions on the flow of inks. Exploring the possibilities of unobtrusive ocean safe inks as a method of documenting the landscape, this act also promotes personal connection with place and considers ocean ecologies.

Germaine is leading a Suminagashi workshop, and displaying a selection of her rock-pool experiments that intend to capture the sense of the water itself and explore its material memory.

Amy Butlin

Over Old Ground

Artist Bio

Amy is an interdisciplinary artist whose process-led practice is driven by an ongoing search for self. Drawing on themes such as the unconscious, memory, repetition and uncertainty, her work is informed by ideas from folklore, history, feminism and her own neurodiversity. She often makes use of her own presence and absence in an attempt to embody the processes that she investigates. Amy employs automatic writing and drawing, and uses everyday found materials, in an improvisational way that allows chance encounters to shift the direction of her work into film, photography, and installation.

For Promenade

Amy is focusing on a walk from the land to the sea, between the sites of two bronze age barrows on Weston’s hillside, using it to investigate the complex nature of our relationship with place. A series of open-ended, overlapping explorations whilst walking the network of paths between these two points, will consider the nature of the pathways, the shifts and changes to the environment it passes through, and its overlapping histories and mythologies. She will use a combination of writing, drawing, photography and film to document this process that will be displayed overlooking the sea.

Move Until Dusk Collective

Birnbeck Beast

Artist Bio

Move Until Dusk (MUD) is a fledgling movement theater collective who came together through a shared interest in dance and movement that is rooted in research and experimentation. Together, they are intent upon unpacking and unlearning common conditioning, thoughts, beliefs, and customs through corporeal expression that is essentially ‘of the body’. Their curiosity and unconventional nature often sees them responding to the physicality of place, space and context to both explore and question the world around them.

For Promenade

Birnbeck Beast' is a newly developed performance focussing on the mystical and mythical creature that is Birnbeck Pier and the natural cycle of life that is decomposition, using movement and sound as mediums to explore the symbiotic relationship between self and surroundings.

Artist Bio

Alice is a visual artist whose diverse practice ranges from sculpture and carvings to drawing and socially engaged work. Her work explored the materiality of things through a keen interest in people and our material engagement with the world around us. Alice is interested in ways that we can communicate, interact with and understand our surroundings, whilst disrupting common-place aesthetics to create interesting dialogues between material, people and place.

For Promenade

A new sculptural re-imagining of Westons iconic Birnbeck pier, that considers the tension and balance between the built and natural habitats of WsM’s coastline.

Through Alice’s experiments with the sand, sea water, mud and silt of Westons intertidal zone when the tide has gone out, a pier structure is wrapped in canvas printed directly in this location to create a large sea drawing draped over the sculpture.

The work reflects on and connects with the natural environment and our complex relationship with it. The sculpture is a direct collaboration with the elements and is therefore temporary, unpredictable and ephemeral.

Rowan Colquhoun

Sustenance

Artist Bio

Rowan Colquhoun is a non-binary artist and maker living in North Somerset. Their artistic practice explores navigating relationships through interpreting various signs and symbols to consider hidden vulnerabilities and desires. Playing with contrasting elements within their work, Rowan often juxtaposes animal figures and organic shapes alongside emotional experiences such as dream-like states to reveal alternative perceptions of the subject matter at hand.

For Promenade

Through their research into the unusual critters and flora hidden in the watery nooks, and crevices of Weston’s coastline, Rowan has delved into the worlds of the rock slater, European eel, the rock samphire, and bladderwrack seaweed amongst other things. Throughout the development of this project, Rowan has become interested in coastal foraging and how it can help to gain a deeper understanding of our natural environment and the sustenance it can provide. The resulting work will incorporate a series of site-specific relief prints installed in the landscape. Rowan has created an accompanying zine with more info about - available from the Promenade Hub.