Rainbow art across Wolverhampton spins themes of hope and diversity
Visitors to Wolverhampton are being greeted with rainbow coloured artwork in a gesture of hope and diversity.
Landmark buildings including the city's main library and St Peter's Collegiate Church, in Lichfield Street, are being draped in neon wool designs as part of the 'Alignment' showcase which is inspired by the British Art Show 9.
The project devised by Offsite 9 aims to introduce contemporary art to a wider audience.
The four temporary installations created by artist Kathleen Fabre include design To Heaven and Back which can be seen outside the place of worship and features strands of wool running from the tower roof to the street level railings.
Others are Read Between the Lines outside the Central Library, in Snow Haill; Making Connections at Lighthouse Media Centre’s main entrance, at the Chubb Building, in Fryer Street; and Lines of Enquiry at Wolverhampton University's School of Art courtyard garden, in Station Road.
Kathleen, of art project Offsite 9, studied at the university's art school graduating with a first class honours degree.
The 42-year-old, who lives in Stafford, says: "The rainbow is nature's gift to us and is full of symbolism how ever you interpret it.
"Whether it's the symbol of hope chosen by the NHS in recent times, the story of Noah in the Bible or gay pride.
"This project has been a long journey for me, but the idea came to me and here we are.
"It's especially poignant as I studied at Wolverhampton University's School of Art and attained first class honours which I'm very proud of."
She explains that the idea behind the Alignment scheme is for the four vibrant site-specific architectural scale wool installations to be displayed using existing city centre buildings used by the public.
"The rainbow a symbol of hope, holds many interpretations, all positive. Each installation will act as a vibrant greeting to visitors, commuters, residents as they arrive into or walk around Wolverhampton city centre.
"The intention to capture the public's attention, to bring people together, to provoke questions and conversations between each other, and if only for a moment to make people smile and wonder."
In the Bible the rainbow was created by God as a promise to humans that earth would never again be completely flooded by water.
The new OffSite 9 project is being commissioned by Creative Black Country as part of Arts Council England’s Creative People and Places scheme, and supported by Wolverhampton based health and wellbeing company Paycare.
The installations will be officially launched at a public event at St Peter's on Friday featuring a performance of the collaborative dance titled 'Aligned' by Flexus Youth Dance which was created by choreographer Jade Barton.
Offsite 9 project runs from Saturday to April 10th.
The British Art Show 9 is a landmark touring exhibition linked to Wolverhampton Art Gallery and the university. It is organised every five years by Hayward Gallery Touring and includes galleries in Aberdeen, Manchester and Plymouth.
For more information about British Art Show 9 check out: https://www.wlv.ac.uk/schools-and-institutes/faculty-of-arts-business-and-social-sciences/wolverhampton-school-of-art/british-art-show-9/
This article first appeared in the Express & Star written by Deborah Hardiman. Full article available here: https://www.expressandstar.com/news/local-hubs/wolverhampton/2022/01/17/rainbow-art-across-wolverhampton-spins-themes-of-hope-and-diversity/
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