Today, two new artworks by internationally renowned Bristol artists were unveiled at Bristol Temple Meads and an open call to artists was launched.

Bristol-born artist and curator of See No Evil, Inkie has produced a new artwork entitled ‘Bristol to Brooklyn’, which was unveiled on Platform 3 by Bristol City Council cabinet member for culture & sports, Cllr Simon Cook, Arts Council director, Phil Gibby, and local Enterprise Zone business owner and founder of the new Temple Quarter Enterprise Network (TQEN), Jonathan May.

A giant inflatable artwork created by Bristol street artists, Filthy Luker, Pedro Estrellas and Dave Dwight, was then inflated for the first time and revealed outside Brunel’s Old Station.

These installations are part of the BTQ Commissions project and aim to provide a better welcome to the city from Temple Meads and raise awareness for Bristol Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone.

A competition was also launched at the station by Bristol Festival of Ideas director Andrew Kelly to help visitors learn about the area and guide them on their way. Proposals could include short films, posters, cartoons, essays, short stories, street art or drama performances.

The Creative Gateway competition will give ten awards of £500 for project proposals to be developed. An overall winner will be announced at the Festival of Ideas awards evening on May 21st, with a prize of £2,500.

Cabinet member for culture and sports, Cllr Simon Cook, said: “I am a strong advocate for cultural activity as a generator for wider development, as we have seen locally with the developments at Harbourside and in Bedminster. High profile creative projects such as BTQ Commissions can help us to raise the profile of Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone and indeed the wider city region, ensuring that we position ourselves as a city that does things differently and where talented people and businesses want to be.”

Arts Council England’s Director for the South West, Phil Gibby, said: “Arts Council England has invested £300,000 to develop cultural activity in Bristol Temple Quarter. This investment gives Bristol based arts organisations the opportunity to champion new talent and to create cutting edge cultural experiences. Bristol’s cultural identity is vital to promoting the city and attracting businesses to the area.”

Andrew Kelly, director, Bristol Festival of Ideas, said: “Temple Meads is a key gateway to Bristol and an important landmark in the city, but parts of the station and some of its approaches are confusing and lack interest. This gateway competition will encourage the development of ideas for projects that would provide a better welcome to the city. There is a wealth of talent and creativity out there and we’re looking forward to seeing what ideas are put forward.”

Jonathan May, managing director of Sponsorcraft and founder of the new Temple Quarter Enterprise Network, said: “As a new business in the Enterprise Zone, it is great to see so much cultural activity going on in Temple Quarter. We need creative projects like this, which help to raise awareness and make it a desirable place that people want to come to for both work and play. At the moment, Temple Quarter doesn’t really exist as a destination in most peoples’ minds, so this type of activity will help create an identity and draw people in.”

First Great Western’s Retail Manager for the Central Region, Mike Holmes, said: “Bristol is a vibrant city with a fantastic cultural heritage. At First Great Western we are committed to supporting the communities we serve – over 10 million people a year pass through this station and this project is a great way to involve local artists and improve the station environment for all.”

BTQ Commissions aims to ‘animate’ Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone and bring in new audiences through a whole series of pop-up cultural and creative experiences designed to surprise, question and delight. It is a new collaborative initiative co-ordinated by Watershed with funding from Arts Council England. The lead producing partners are Watershed, Knowle West Media Centre, MAYK and Bristol City Council.

The first project to be commissioned was City Running, which took place at Paintworks on 30th November 2012 and saw 34 artists spend an evening running around the Enterprise Zone and creating instant artworks at the end of the night, watched by an audience.

The next project taking place will be ‘We See Fireworks, from 14-17 Feb in Brunel’s Old Station.

Inkie’s Bristol to Brooklyn

When the Great Western Railway was built, it was designed by Brunel as part of the fastest route from London to New York – rail to Bristol and SS Great Britain to New York. Today, there is a growing cultural exchange between Bristol and Brooklyn. To celebrate these connections, Inkie created a new work in Brooklyn last year and has just created this sister work which will be unveiled at Temple Meads.

Inkie says: “The Bristol to Brooklyn piece represents the long-standing connections between Bristol and New York, from the days of Brunel through to the present day and the street artists / musical links between them. The work uses key elements from both cities, from the bridges of Bristol and Brooklyn, to Concorde, an intercity train and a New York subway token. It forms a sister piece to the one I painted in Brooklyn last year as part of the BEAM event, and uses traditional Art Nouveau blended with New York spray painting techniques forming my signature Ink Nouveau style.

“In many ways the Bristol underground scene shaped me – from graffiti to wild bunch – and my approach to my art. The city’s creativity and energy is unique and at long last globally respected. I’m up for promoting and making a statement about Bristol’s creative past and future.”

Shoot and Leaf

Shoot and Leaf is a new installation piece by yet another of Bristol’s internationally acclaimed street artists, Filthy Luker & Pedro Estrellas, and Dave Dwight (AKA Jak Hardpoint).

Luker takes everyday objects and turns them into outlandishly sized inflatable sculptures. Installed site specifically, the colourful creations distort the mundane landscape, allowing us to see our everyday city in a new light. At the entrance to Bristol’s central train station, Temple Meads, a fresh green shoot of mammoth proportions erupts, breaking through the ancient cobblestones. Is the piece pre-empting spring, the opening of the Enterprise Zone or perhaps the downfall of mankind as nature finally gets the upper hand?

Filthy Luker also co-directs Bristol inflatable design company, Designs in Air, who are releasing their innovative new music-making sculpture, Musii the Multi-Sensory Interactive Inflatable later this year.

Upcoming BTQ Commissions Projects

The next project taking place as part of the BTQ Commissions will be ‘We See Fireworks, from 14-17 Feb in Brunel’s Old Station.

We See Fireworks is an ever-evolving installation of memories and lights. Made from a digital archive of 800 memories, Helen Cole will curate a sound track of 40 memories (from around the world and Bristol). Each memory will be represented by an antique lightbulb, and each memory will have a specific lighting design. The work uses digital archiving, triggered sound and light technology, and a bespoke lighting installation for each memory.

In staging We See Fireworks in Brunel’s Old Station, we hope this installation will awaken memories of not only remarkable theatrical events, but also memories of this unique building that once shared travellers stories from across the world.

We See Fireworks has toured nationally and internationally. It was first shown at the Barbican for SPILL 2010, Australia Theatre Forum Adelaide 2011, PS122 New York 2001, brut Vienna 2011, Arches Glasgow 2012, Fierce Festival Birmingham 2012, and very recently Panarama Festival Rio 2012 and Arts House Melbourne 2012. We are delighted to be bringing it back to its hometown, Bristol, in 2013, where its first memories were collected in 2009 and 2010.