Portents Call For Entries - Your chance to have a public voice on College Green!

Portents is one of the most exciting events of the autumn – an art installation that will fill College Green with 50 decorated tents for nine days in September.

Portents is an ambitious project bringing the different communities of Bristol together through public art.  It will fill one of Bristol’s most iconic spaces, College Green, with a tent city of over 50 tents – each one printed with a design contributed by a different community from around Bristol.  The result will be a great tent city – emblazoned with images and messages from around Bristol – a visual demonstration of the diversity that gives our city its strength.

Portents is the brainchild of John Easterby, and is being developed in partnership with the Pierian Centre.  They first worked together two years ago, hanging the 4-metre high banners of Tom Stoddart’s powerful photo-journalism at Temple Meads Station.  John spent his childhood years in Bristol, but is now an internationally known editor and teacher of photo-journalism.  Portents grows out of John’s commitment to bringing art to a wider public and making cultural interventions in outdoor spaces.

Call For Entries Still Open

This city-wide project in partnership with the Pierian Centre and John Easterby project will see the transformation of one of Bristol’s most famous public spaces into an extraordinary ‘tent city’. For a period of 10 days from Saturday September 18th – Sunday September 26th, over fifty tents, printed with artwork by the people of Bristol will stand in College Green as a united testament to the diversity of the population of the city. Seen around the world, the ‘tent city‘ symbolises sanctuary and security - often from conflict or crisis. This tent city will acknowledge the many people around the world who have been forced into refugee status and act as a metaphor and statement of Bristol’s rich cultural diversity.
Citizens of Bristol from all walks of life are invited to join a unique and high profile participatory art project that will celebrate the cultural diversity of this city and give a voice to people from all parts of society.  When the project is complete, artwork from fifty different communities, districts, schools and marginalised, disadvantaged or excluded groups will be presented as one, in a huge public installation that will be seen by people in their hundreds of thousands.  The theme of this project is ‘Home, Histories and Hope’ and with one or all of these words in mind we invite individuals or groups to consider their own realities and experiences and translate their ideas into a work of art.
What do we mean by Art?  This project is open to artistic expression of all kinds, providing the work is able to be visually displayed. For the purpose of this project the definition includes: Paintings, drawings, photography, textiles, poetry, spray paint art, digital art and graphic design.
The theme: Home, Histories and Hope
Each of these words have the capacity to trigger deep emotions, memories and dreams. They are words that stand firmly on their own but which can also interlink. Your work can do the same.  
What does ‘Home’ mean to you? Perhaps it is a place you were forced to leave or the place where you have finally come to safely rest. It can be a place of family, love and warmth or the very reverse. For some the idea of home is itself a dream. It’s somewhere we can hang our hat, be ourselves, relax and escape the pressures of the outside world. Common to all of us is the belief that home should be a place of sanctuary, safety and of family.
Where do you come from? How have you got ‘here’? What’s your story? Think about conversations with the elderly, pictures from the family album, stories of the past and their influence on the present to inspire your creative ideas. You may be inspired by a journey you made that brought you to your new home. Maybe that journey was from a distant land or was from a life on the streets to a roof over your head. What was it like? How can you tell your story?
What is a life without hope? Although we’d all like to think we could handle the proverbial lottery jackpot, the idea of hope goes far beyond the dream of material fortune. Hope of reconciliation, hope for the futures of our children - health, happiness and harmony. Hope for a better world.
Format: Each selected artist or group will have two rectangular panels of 2000mm x 1500mm to show their work. All work should be produced to this scale so that the original artwork can be scanned before it is digitally printed for display.
Who can enter?

The project invites artists and communities from across Bristol to join this project. Our aim is to embrace as many sectors of Bristolian society as possible to create a truly democratic representation of the many different  people that make such a vital contribution to the city. The selection process for the exhibition will aim to reflect this objective but submissions that do not make it through to the final exhibition will form part of a broader on-line version of the project.
How to enter:
In the first instance contact us with your expression of interest to be sent to:

June Burrough   

The Pierian Centre
27 Portland Square
St Pauls
Bristol BS2 8SA
The Pierian Centre is the lead project partner for EY2010 - the European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion of which this event is a part.  Our social purpose  is to serve the wider community of Bristol and we are passionate about contributing towards  a socially inclusive Bristol.  As part of that The Pierian Centre chairs the Bristol City of Sanctuary Steering Committee.
John Easterby has been working as a photographer, picture editor and project director for over 25 years.  He has curated exhibitions around the world and worked with some of the leading figures in photography.  Nearly a decade ago he produced the now famous outdoor exhibition 'iWITNESS' on London's South Bank.  The exhibition celebrated the work of Tom Stoddart, Britain's greatest living photojournalist, and was seen by half a million people.  John has a commitment to projects that bring art to the people, and a particular interest in making cultural interventions in public spaces.  Many of his projects encourage groups and individuals to produce pieces that are then consolidated into a single event that delivers a message greater than the sum of its parts.

Portents takes place on College Green from 18th to 27th September.  Funding for Portents comes from Awards For All, Arts Coucil England, Bristol City Council Single Project Fund, and the Legacy Commission.  Holland House Hotel are sponsoring the Sponsors Evening.  

Check out the BBC’s website: http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/bristol/hi/people_and_places/arts_and_cultur...

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