Bristol: Art Under The Flyover with Dave Bain
Illustrator Dave Bain has recently transformed Cumberland Piazza in Bristol into a colorful walk way.
In collaboration with local community groups, Art Under The Flyover kick-started an ongoing series of arts projects and events back in 2010 with the intention of inspiring the public to improve and engage with the space.
Located in Hotwells, the Piazza is a large, concrete-clad area below a flyover in central Bristol and has become a through-space for local residents. The area – austere, neglected and punctuated by seventy-three giant concrete pylons – had become an unwelcoming and unsightly dead zone.
Introducing the idea of transforming the area Ray Smith and Anna Wilson of the Hotwells and Cliftonwood Community Association opened discussions with the local community back in 2010 and began to consider ways in which the Piazza could be improved. Recruiting the talent of local artist Dave Bain to visualise the project led to the forest theme.
For each set of columns, a gradient of a single colour was used, ranging from light to dark. The seventy-three columns, some as high as six metres, were painted over the last few months by local volunteers in a striking colour scheme.
Taking inspiration from the idea of ‘a concrete forest’ Dave turned the columns into a set of simple, stylised tree designs.
The tree designs are scattered throughout the Piazza and the majority of the designs face into the space, to encourage a sense of discovery and shelter for visitors. As passers-by walk and cycle through the space from a variety of directions, it was important that the design catered for many different viewpoints.
With the support of fellow artists Paul Roberts and Loch Ness, Dave Bain painted thirty-three trees over the course of four days, as well as completing the work started by the volunteer painters. The result is a colourful walk-way for all to enjoy in the months to come.
Art Under The Flyover hope to build on, and celebrate, the transformation of the space, by encouraging further creative events to be held within the area.
Photography James Koch. Cumberland Piazza is located in the Hotwells area of Bristol.