National property developer Land Securities is expected to unveil a series of artworks in November, as part of its strategy to use public art to brand its 400ha mixed-use development in Ebbsfleet Valley, Kent.
Based on the branding created for the development by design consultancy Hat Trick (pictured), the Ampersand project will see three sculptural forms installed at roundabouts that lead into the Ebbsfleet Valley site. The concept was devised by cultural branding group Futurecity Arts, which was appointed six months ago.
Futurecity Arts project manager Claire Foster explains that Land Securities approached the consultancy to find a way to ‘use art and culture as a branding tool’.
‘It’s difficult to artificially create what will effectively be a whole new town. Land Securities had the idea that it wanted to use the ampersand form in a series of art commissions to bolster a sense of identity for the town. It will work in a similar vein to the “2” on the BBC2 idents’, she says. Futurecity Arts is expected to bring on board lighting artist Peter Freeman to create the three applications based on the ampersand form. The artworks will be identical in form and will use embedded LED lights, although they will differ in how they respond to weather conditions.
Hat Trick creative director Gareth Howat, who worked on the Ebbsfleet Valley brand identity, says that it is working closely with Futurecity in ensuring that the identity and the arts branding work together in harmony.
Howat explains, ‘Land Securities has always had a cohesive arts strategy, looking at how branding and art can be used across the site. It will tie the whole vast area together.’
Last month, Futurecity Arts split from its design arm Futurecity Design to join forces with Arts & Business, a not-for-profit organisation that fosters collaboration between designers, artists and commercial organisations. Futurecity Design, now known as February, will focus on graphic design.