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Accrington's Art City

Part 2 Project 2006
Elizabeth King
University of Sheffield, UK
The project is situated within a town centre block in Accrington and proposes that the hidden spaces within it are transformed into an ‘Artist’s City’. Beginning the year by exploring how architecture could seed events, the scheme developed into imagining a built environment as a catalyst for regeneration through art production. Described through specific stages of growth it involves the accretive addition of interventions, (studios, teaching space, city hall, industry) and speculates how ‘in-between’ spaces’ left between old and new may be appropriated. As it grows it integrates into the existing fabric through use, gently revealing itself to the outside.
Elizabeth King

Elizabeth depicts her ‘art city’ as both a self-sufficient city and an immensely useful resource for the community of Accrington. This dual aspect to the work critiques the reluctance of the local council to fund public art and embodies Elizabeth’s belief in the transformative potential of art created with the public within the public realm. Her direct engagement with the people of Accrington informs her work and addresses practical concerns while being highly conceptual. Her drawings have that rare quality of communicating the ambiguity of an architecture which never stops changing and which speaks of gaps and possibilities as well as certainties.

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