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Exciting visual arts offer descends on Brighton in celebration of Brighton Festival and the 2012 Games

  • Date: 27 April 2012
  • Area: South East
shimmering sea and person

Sea of Voices, Invisible Flock. Credit: Photo courtesy of Invisible Flock

Brighton will host several imaginative, cutting-edge visual arts projects, exhibitions and digital experiences this May, inspired in part by the 2012 Games and also coming to the city as part of the Brighton Festival.

From a unique yacht crafted from wooden donations with special histories, to an interactive sound walk that invites you to send your private messages out to sea and to urban architecture brought to life through light, there are plenty of engaging visual art opportunities for everyone to experience – for free.

One of the year’s most exciting new visual art works coming to Brighton is The Boat Project by Lone Twin. Festival goers will be able to visit the stunning yacht throughout the festival at Brighton Marina and explore the yacht’s fascinating history as a living archive of people's stories and lives from 9 to 17 May. The Boat Project is the South East’s Cultural Olympiad Artist taking the lead project, funded by the Arts Council. From February to July 2011, the public donated their wood to the project but not just any old wood. Pencil or piano – exotic as Zebrawood or as familiar as pine every piece had a story behind it.

Sea of Voices
, by Leeds-based artist collective Invisible Flock, is an interactive sound walk from Fabrica gallery – an Arts Council England National portfolio organisation - to Brighton Marina from 5 to 27 May. Participants will be invited to download an app or audio file and follow as they are led 2.7 miles along the seafront to the marina, where the Lone Twin’s The Boat Project yacht will be moored.

During the walk people are invited to look through vintage sea telescopes showing augmented landscapes and ‘text their messages out to sea’. Complementing the walk, which was commissioned to welcome The Boat Project, is new film I See Infinite Distance Between One Point and Another, by Turner Prize nominated The Otolith Group, which is being shown at Fabrica.

Sea of Voices was developed through an artist residency at Arts Council England National portfolio organisation Blast Theory, and Invisible Flock are working with students from the University of Brighton to create additional soundscapes for the audio element of their work.

I See Infinite Distance Between One Point and Another and Sea of Voices were commissioned by University of Brighton and Arts Council England National portfolio organisations Fabrica, Blast Theory, Lighthouse, Photoworks and Brighton Festival, and are part of a RELAY and the Turning Point South East network. RELAY celebrates the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Visual arts festival HOUSE Festival 2012 presents two major new commissions and related exhibitions from international artist David Batchelor from 5 to 27 May. Batchelor takes inspiration from Brighton streets for new commission Skip, which transforms the materials of everyday life with the brilliance of neon and is sited outside Moshi Moshi in Bartholomew Square throughout the Festival.

Batchelor’s second work, Brighton Palermo Remix, co-commissioned with Brighton Festival, is a series of domestic scaled wooden structures inspired by the traditional Italian street festival illumination and adorned with coloured lights. The work is housed in Brunswick Square’s Regency Town House, sited within the formal rooms of the main house, the parlour, dining room and drawing rooms. The work is also in part a response to the architectural period details of The Regency Town House, a Grade I listed Terraced house (1824-28) designed by Charles Augustin Busby.

HOUSE 2012 is run by Artists Open Houses and is supported with a £94,748 Arts Council England Grants for the arts award. Grants for the arts is Arts Council England’s open application funding programme to support activities that engage people in the arts and help artists and arts organisations with their work.

HOUSE 2012 also presents five new commissions, which will be displayed in a curated exhibition alongside international artist, David Batchelor’s work. Collectively, these project’s artists will make interventions on the streets of Brighton over the month of May, exploring themes of domesticity, the urban and everyday, bringing attention to the overlooked and ordinary. Artwork will be positioned in Phoenix Gallery, the University of Brighton Gallery, domestic spaces, artist studios and unexpected locations across Brighton & Hove.

Sally Abbott, Regional Director, South East, Arts Council England said: ‘The visual arts offer in Brighton and Hove is great news for the visual arts in the South East and demonstrates our strengths in the art form. This partnership of many Arts Council funded organisations will bring some excellent art to the region in celebration of the Cultural Olympiad and Brighton Festival. The exhibitions and experience of working together will help strengthen cultural leadership and the South East’s reputation as an innovative and exciting place for the visual arts.’

Brighton Festival: Sea of Voices & Invisible Flock, Fabrica, 5 to 27 May, 12-7pm. Preview 4 May 6pm. The Boat Project, Brighton Marina Pontoon 6, 9 to 17 May.

House Festival: Brighton Palermo Remix and related work - The Regency Town House and Basement, 5 to 27 May, Wed to Sun 12pm-6pm Skip, Bartholomew Square, Brighton 5 to 27 May.