An installation at the East Cliff bandstand created by Ramsgate schoolchildren and artist Conrad Shawcross will be officially opened this morning (September 30).
Beacons is an installation of four galvanised steel tripods with spinning discs at the top and was created in a Turner Contemporary scheme as part of its Pioneering Places project with some 70 Ramsgate schoolchildren from St Laurence’s Junior Academy and Ramsgate Arts Primary working with Conrad Shawcross.
The temporary installation will be in place for up to one year. The four structures have a perforated steel disc on top of a steel pole and will be weighted by a tripod base. They can be manually made to spin via a dial in the pole. 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.
The creation has a concealed word hidden within the design, based on a coded alphabet devised by the children. The word HOME was chosen by the children to be the message that the beacons send out to sea.
Conrad Shawcross, children from St Laurence Junior Academy and Ramsgate Arts Primary will be at this morning’s opening from 10am to 11am. There will also be live music.