Photo Credit: Richard Chivers

Architects CAN and artist Felicity Hammond collaborate on new public artwork for Brighton

A new permanent public artwork has been revealed in East Sussex. It was created by artist Felicity Hammond and architecture and ideas studio CAN

Titled FORECAST, it’s been commissioned by Brighton & Hove Council as the focus of a new civic space between the historically significant Portslade town hall and the newly built Victoria Road Housing Development in Portslade, Hove.  For the work, Hammond and CAN have produced a cluster of three organic forms appearing as weathered sections of brickwork, washed up and castaway by the sea. 

CAN designs spaces, places, and objects that subvert and amplify their social and cultural contexts. Through their practices, both are interested in re-imagining existing urban character to develop new responses to its setting. They share an interest in creating idiosyncratic and visually striking projects underwritten by rigorous cultural and historical research.

The forms are made from cement mixed with an aggregate of waste bricks leftover from the construction of the new housing. Sited in the central civic space of the development, fragments of brick are revealed on the polished surface of the sculptures. They mimick the way that the tide erodes and smooths industrial materials. The history of the site and its coastal location are embedded in the processes used to make the artwork. It references the local former brickfield and the polishing company that once occupied the adjacent town hall. 

Photo Credit: Richard Chivers

Holding the polished brick forms in place are a series of steel hoops, which at once blend into the aesthetic of municipal design yet also stand out, like a warning or a marker.

The painted steel mimics the change in texture on the concrete forms, suggesting a rising tidal line; a hint at the challenges faced by coastal towns. Through this gesture, Forecast responds to the very nature of permanence in relation to public art, asking its audience not only to consider the material histories related to the site, but also its future form.

OPEN23 is open for submissions – Worthing Theatres and Museum to celebrate artists from across Sussex

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