Ilfracombe residents asked to take part in public art research event
How public art such as Damien Hirst's Verity statue and the floating art project Nowhereisland help to "make a place" is to be examined by university researchers in a project in the Westcountry.
The research team will work with members of the public in North Devon to examine the impact that Verity had on creating a new definition of place for the people of Ilfracombe since the statue arrived and if Nowhereisland, a floating island that toured the Westcountry coast last year, brought any benefits to the area.
Researchers are looking at what the impact has been on people in three different ways.
Residents are being invited to take part in three different events designed to find out whether the art divided people or brought them together, what effect they have had on the environment and if there have been any other benefits to the town as a result.
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Nowhereisland, a floating project devised by Alex Hartley, came to Ilfracombe in September 2012, while the 60ft bronze statue of Verity arrived a month later in October.
Lynn Froggett, professor of psychosocial welfare at the university, said the inspiration for the research was part of a wider project being run by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.
"In 2012 Ilfracombe was home to these two contrasting public art projects and that is of particular interest," she said. "Ilfracombe has had the chance to experience two very different kinds of public art.
"I don't know of anywhere else that has had such connections, so this really is a naturally occurring experiment."
Events are being used to interact with the public.
One event, held on Wednesday, invited people into a visual matrix displaying photos of the artworks and asking people to talk about how they relate to them and this will be repeated on Monday, November 4.
The second is a citizens' forum, which will encourage debate about the artworks on Wednesday, November 6.
"We're trying to find out what the different impact of each of these artworks was on the town and we know we need to do both types of event to do that," said Professor Froggett.
Anyone wanting to take part in an event should email email@example.com or call on 07949 143022.