Date posted: 12 January 09
Following a call for Bristolians to nominate people they feel have made their city famous, a new artwork is to be commissioned to celebrate those who have helped put Bristol on the map.
The original call for ideas was made in October 2007 as part of the build up to the 2008 Great Reading Adventure. It was inspired by Ernest Board’s Some Who Have Made Bristol Famous, which is on display in Bristol’s City Museum and Art Gallery.
Board’s painting features 39 individuals from 800 years of Bristol’s history gathered together in a group portrait. Among them are cricketer-physician W G Grace, chocolate manufacturer Joseph Fry, navigator John Cabot, actress Mary Robinson and educationalist Hannah More. It was presented to the city in 1930.
Andrew Kelly, director of the Great Reading Adventure and Bristol Festival of Ideas, said at the time:
“If such a painting was created today, who would be chosen to represent the city from the viewpoint of 2008? Whose fame has stood the test of time – and who of today’s famous Bristolians would be considered to be of lasting value?”
Over 500 suggestions were received. These have now been reduced to a new core group of figures to be presented in a permanent artwork, suitable for museum display.
Some of the old names remain, but many new faces will be included, among them politician Tony Benn, Nobel-Prize winning chemist Dorothy Hodgkin, transport entrepreneur Sir George White, campaigner Paul Stephenson, engineer Archibald E Russell and artist Beryl Cook. There’s also Alfred the Gorilla and Aardman Animations’ Wallace and Gromit.
Suggestions for Bristol icons were also received to form part of the artwork, including Concorde, Wills Woodbines and Clifton Suspension Bridge.
Announcing an invitation to artists to present their proposals for the commission, Andrew Kelly said today:
“We’re keen to hear from artists who want to create a new artwork which will provide this unique view of Bristol’s and Bristolian achievement. We hope that this artwork will go alongside Board’s original work and that – though we will not be around to see this –a new work of art is commissioned every 100 years of who has made Bristol famous.”
List of figures for inclusion in new artwork
The final list of people, products and icons will be confirmed at the time of contract but are likely to include the following, chosen from the suggestions received from the public.
Alfred the Gorilla
Bristol music and cultural scene represented by Banksy, Tricky, Roni Size, Portishead, Goldfrapp, Massive Attack.
Bristol icons: Bristol Cars, Bristol Cream, Bristol Fighter, Clifton Suspension Bridge, Concorde, Fry’s Five Boys, ss Great Britain, Wills Woodbines, Bristol Coat of Arms
The total fee for the artwork will be £10,000 – funded by private donation – and proposals must be received by Friday 31 January 2009. Artists interested in making a proposal should contact Andrew Kelly at Bristol Cultural Development Partnership (BCDP), Leigh Court, Abbots Leigh, Bristol BS8 3RA or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Download a brief
Click here to download a PDF brief for the commission (1MB PDF).
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