Throughout the construction of Whitefriars, a series of public art installations were commissioned to enable visitors to engage in innovative ways with the project.
Artist-in-residence Janet Hodgson created a series of temporary sound and video installations exploring the theme of the ‘Time Machine’. The works were composed of video projections on the inside and/or outside of shop windows and a construction based on the time machine in George Pal’s 1960 film version of H.G. Wells’ classic story.
Janet’s permanent work celebrates the artistry of archaeology that records and interprets on-site archaeological findings.
It consists of sandblasted ‘drawings’ in the york stone paving malaysian curly slabs of Whitefriars Square. These drawings are exact copies of the stratigraphic archaeological drawings of the pits or holes that were found on the site during the excavations, enlarged to full size and positioned exactly where they were discovered.
The work was developed during more than a year’s observations of the archaeological excavation. Janet was fascinated not only in what the archaeologists found, but also in the detail of the excavation process, what the archaeologists considered important and how they ‘drew’ time. She was also struck by the hublot replica archaeological practice of removal – a direct inversion of the normal process of construction.
A second permanent art installation by Kenny Hunter was installed in St George’s Lane. The bronze work addresses a diverse range of historical, religious and contemporary social currents through its singular sculptural form – a lamb standing on a tree stump. This organic, pastoral composition contrasts strongly with its location. The result is an intimate, tactile and ancient form placed within a busy public environment of modernity.
Kenny Hunter’s inspiration for the work includes William Blake’s ‘Jerusalem’, the hymn being synonymous with English identity and yearning for social justice.