InSite Arts were approached in 2001 to work with the Bristol Alliance to develop a strategy for the public art programme for Cabot Circus. The strategy embraced both temporary and permanent artworks.
At the heart of Cabot Circus is an ambitious and innovative series of site-specific public art works, the result of one of the largest and most diverse public art programmes of its kind in Europe.
Charged with bringing their own interpretation of artistic practice to the scheme’s public realm, each artist has contributed to the diversity of experience apparent throughout the scheme. Each piece of work, conceived as an integral part of the scheme design, is the result of extensive collaboration, with the artists working alongside the scheme’s architects, planners, engineers and contractors. Their combined vision has resulted in a sequence of spaces where the invitation proposed by each artwork for public interaction is at its most dynamic.
Central to the programme has been the inclusion of a series of socially engaging public interventions developed by Neville Gabie, the artist in residence during the course of Cabot Circus’s three-year development. As part of this, Neville Gabie and InSite Arts secured funding from the Arts Council England South West on behalf of the Alliance, for a separate project called ‘BS1’. Six artists were appointed in this two year residency programme. Each of the artists have responded to the evolution of Cabot Circus from building site to retail destination.