Public Space and Public Art at Riverside Bedford

24/08/2017

 

Public Space and Public Art at Riverside Bedford

24/08/2017

Share To:

Back to news

Article

Bedford Riverside Regeneration Limited (BRRL) – a joint venture between Coplan Estates and Linkcity – and Bedford Creative Arts (BCA) are proud to unveil The Frog, the latest piece of site-specific public art in Bedford town centre at the newly developed Riverside Square – a tree-lined public space over-looking the River Great Ouse.

BCA was approached by BRRL to commission a piece of art to culturally enhance the space. Following a selection process, Bath-based artist William Rounce was selected by BCA, the developers and Mayor Dave Hodgson to develop a piece of work to be situated on the west side of the square.

William has taken his inspiration for the piece The Frog, from Bedford’s brick-making history. Following a visit to The Higgins Bedford, William learned about the Stewartby brickworks and became fascinated with the ‘frog’ or indentation of the brick that is displayed at the museum. “The mould of the brick is convex, yet the finished brick is concave,” said William. “I have used both the convex mould of the brick and the concave ‘frog’ to create a visual illusion. Different people will see a different perspective.”

“The best public art responds to its specific location,” said William. “Entitled The Frog, the piece is playful, conceptual, references the local area and is also accessible to the public. The visual illusion may not be immediately apparent, so it will be a talking point.”

The three screens reference the brickworks of Stewartby and also an in-filled window on the BPHA building that overlooks the Square. “As you come over the new bridge you can see the bricked up window on the old building,” said William. “I have echoed that image on one of the panels. The Frog is quite futuristic and the colours are bold – not the obvious red of traditional bricks but inspired by the colours of the bricks in the vicinity – so I wanted to reference the architecture of the past as well as the future.”

The new development at Riverside Bedford is a gateway to the River Great Ouse and incorporates public space along the embankment and in the new square. “The importance of public space cannot be overstated in the planning of developments,” said Colin McQueston of BRRL. “They can be lively, creative spaces that bring people together in a community. Good public space attracts and inspires citizens and improves local pride and a sense of well-being.”

William’s artwork will be sited among seating and newly planted trees in an area that was previously a car park and public toilets. “The new development opens up the riverside from the town centre, providing new public space for visitors to enjoy.” said Mayor Dave Hodgson. “Those visitors will be able to sit and relax among the bustle of the exciting new development while taking in this public art which references both local history and its immediate surroundings.”

Riverside Square is a versatile space that can be used for performance, festivals, screenings and simply as a place to meet friends.

 

About the artist

William Rounce is an artist and teacher based in Bath. Drawing in its various guises forms the basis of his practice and he works in a variety of media including drawing, installation and animation.

About Bedford Riverside Regeneration Limited
  • Bedford Riverside Regeneration Limited is Bedford Borough Council’s development partner for the Riverside North scheme.
  • Bedford Riverside Regeneration Limited is a joint venture between Linkcity and Coplan Estates
About Linkcity
  • Linkcity is the new brand for the team formerly known as Bouygues Development.
  • Linkcity has around 20 developments across the UK, with a gross development value in excess of £1.3 billion.
About Coplan Estates
  • Coplan Estates was established in 2006 and has extensive property development experience, primarily focused on the London and South East Region.
  • Coplan Estates is currently delivering projects, in partnership with Bedford Borough Council, Canterbury City Council and Reigate and Banstead Borough Council.

 

Latest News

June 6, 2018

Open Call for Journeys Artist Residency with BedMID at The Higgins, Bedford

Open call for artists’ proposals. Bedford Music In Detention delivered by Bedford Creative Arts, in partnership with The Higgins, Bedford are inviting applications from socially engaged artists, working across art forms to undertake a residency at The Higgins, Bedford. The work produced during the residency will be showcased at The Higgins at the end of

May 29, 2018

Flower power at the Clubhouse community garden

I have gardening on my mind this week as we are heading to the Clubhouse community garden in Queen’s Park this Friday. For inspiration I watched some of the Chelsea Flower Show last week and loved Sarah Price’s garden for M&G. She is known for her ‘painterly’ approach and originally trained as an artist. It

May 4, 2018

BedMID at Refugee Week 2018

Refugee week is fast approaching and BedMID is gearing up to launch two new pieces of work. Johanne Hudson Lett has been developing the music from the ‘Countrywide CD’ released during Refugee Week 2017, alongside making new songs with participants from Friends of Refugees, Bedfordshire. Roshi Nasehi has been working with refugee family participants from Bedford’s Kings Arms Project on an

See More

Want to get involved? Contact Us