Alaska Developments has commissioned artist Juliet Haysom to create public art for the Print Hall development near Old Market in Bristol. Project managed by us, the work will take the form of three follies, reintroducing fragments of lost and re-imagined local buildings into the site. In this work Juliet Haysom addresses ideas of erasure, reconnection, rebuilding and removal – themes which have defined this site for the last century.
In the last 100 years parts of David Street have been opened, closed, reopened and pedestrianised; Jacob Street has been cut off from Temple Way; Hawkins Street was built; and the fortunes of Old Market have declined. Much of the local area was destroyed in the Second World War and optimistic post-war planning, in particular the construction of the Old Market Flyover road scheme in the late 1960s, problematically reshaped local pedestrian and vehicular routes. The contemporary re-landscaping of the site is intended to contribute to the regeneration of the local area and to prioritise pedestrian use.
Phase 1 of the project has seen three follies installed in a walkway reconnecting Jacob Street with Temple way. The follies are cast in Jesmonite, and have been made from moulds taken from the walls of the derelict buildings on the adjacent site. The casts are simple, robust, and beautifully crafted. They both record the original walls with all of their imperfections and transform them into unfamiliar, monumental fragments. Large-scale erasure, reconnection, rebuilding, and removal have defined this site for the last century. The Follies address the implications of these radical changes- of memory and forgetting- in material terms. From the intimacy of the eye-level detail to the scale of the site within its wider context, they intend to sensitively define its specific sense of place.
Phase 2 of the project will see Juliet Haysom working with Planit-IE to extend this vision into the landscaping of a public park on Unity Street.