An installation of four galvanised steel tripods with spinning discs at the top will be installed at the East Cliff bandstand in Ramsgate if Thanet council grants planning permission.
The application has been made by Turner Contemporary as part of its Pioneering Places project with some 70 Ramsgate schoolchildren from St Laurence’s Junior Academy and Ramsgate Arts Primary working with artist Conrad Shawcross.
For the temporary installation, which will be in place for up to one year, the four structures will have a perforated steel disc on top of a steel pole and will be weighted by a tripod base. The installation has been titled as Beacons.
Each structure will be hand operated by a handle which will allow each disc to be gently rotated when turned. The handle can be removed (by Turner Contemporary) when access to the artwork might be required to be restricted.
The children involved in the project have researched Ramsgate, with a focus on the historic character of its Royal Harbour, and this was used for their ideas for the artwork.
The themes are drawn from nautical signalling and ideas about Ramsgate and its Royal Harbour as a place of refuge as well as Play and Playfulness- noting Ramsgate’s legacy as a tourist destination; Caring – noting how to deal with environmental issues, pollution of the harbour, sea, air and litter in the town and Modern Machines – in a nod to Georgian civil engineering, such as Ramsgate’s sluices, bollards, basin gates and John Smeaton’s dry dock.
Additional information on the artwork will be displayed on temporary, removable vinyl graphics installed in the bandstand.
The children and Shawcross have been working on developing the artwork, which is planned for installation in Spring 2021 and will be temporarily in place for 12 months.
The creation will have a concealed word hidden within the design, based on a coded alphabet devised by the children. The materials used reference those that can be found in the surrounding area of the Royal Harbour such as the steel used in shipbuilding.
The bandstand is a Grade II listed asset, and a designated public open space, and sits within the Ramsgate Conservation Area. The Ramsgate Eastcliff bandstand dates to the late 1930s and includes the patterned dancefloor, the boundary wall, railings and steps, as well as the bandstand itself.
The tripod base to the artworks gives enough ballast to make each structure secure, eliminating the need for attaching the works to the ground by either piling or through fixtures and fittings.
A letter from Turner Contemporary outlining the project says: “We hope the artwork will bring a new opportunity for residents and visitors to engage with Ramsgate, and to explore the beautiful setting of the East Cliff and the town beyond. The children are hugely excited about seeing the culmination of all their work being shared with Ramsgate residents, visitors and the wider public. We look forward to this celebration of what local children have been able to achieve when working together with a leading artist.”
The artwork is being produced by Conrad Shawcross Studio and is currently in pre-production.