Art in public

As the Christmas lights edge into London’s Oxford street ready to be switched on in a couple of weeks time, there’s a host of other public art works launching up and down the country, thankfully of a less festive nature.

If Selfridges Marmite pop-up shop (as reported in Design Week 21 October) whet your appetite for more spread-inspired design, then check out this shrine or ‘monumite’ as the locals of Burton-on-Trent are calling it. Creative consultancy Jam was appointed to create the piece to celebrate the town’s relationship with the brand, which is based nearby.

Jam director Jamie Anley says, ‘We intended to keep the design of the piece very simple.  The form of the Marmite jar is so instantly recognisable; we wanted to celebrate this iconicity by producing a schematic representation of it.’

Marmite shrine unveiled in Burton town centre

Local digital artist Mark Yorke has created digital content which will be available to download via Bluetooth when visitors approach the shrine. The content features pictures from Marmite’s archive, love letter from fans, animations about how Marmite is made and information about the Burton-on-Trent area.

Another food-inspired public art work on the menu next, this time in London’s Archway. Designer David Batchelor has thought up a 10m-high light sculpture, called Big Rock Candy Mountain, which will be unveiled at Archway tube station on 1 November by none other that Madness frontman Suggs.

Batchelor says, ‘While Archway may not be everyone’s idea of paradise, it is a great area with a vibrant mix of people. But there is a kind of darkness about the area around the Archway Tower, which I hope the Fountain will help to dispel, at least for a while. The work is an invitation to look again at an area that is too often overlooked.’

Holm by Tania Kovats

Meanwhile in Weston-super-mare, a swarm of artists have created works for the seaside town’s public art project Wonders of Weston, including a mobile kaleidoscopic pavilion by Raumlaborberlin inspired by Monty Python – John Clesse is a local lad, just in case you missed the connection.

Ruth Claxton has created a sculptural installation using circular rings and panes of glass, which change colour depending on the light and whether conditions. Tania Kovats has created a sculpture of Steep Holm island, a remote nature reserve in the Bristol Channel which is visible from the beach.

Ruth Claxton installation

David Batchelor’s Big Rock Candy Fountain is visable at Archway tube station from 1 November – 27 March 2011. The locations of the art work involved in Wonders of Weston can be found at

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