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Case Study: Electric Wharf

Frances Lord/Public Art Online 5th July 2006

Summary

Electric Wharf, a mixed use canalside development in central Coventry, was created from the shell of Coventry's former Victorian power station and depot, Electric Light Works. Ian Harrabin of developers Complex Development Projects (CDP ) engaged Sam Wilkinson of InSite Arts and artist David Patten to develop a Public Art Strategy for the site. David Patten, whose role on the project later became that of lead artist, worked with architect Larry Priest of Bryant Priest Newman Architects (BPN) to develop a Design Statement for the site. This artist/architect collaboration influenced many aspects of the overall design and material specifications.

A team of artists was engaged between 2002 and 2006 with briefs to create temporary and permanent works of art. Charlie Gallagher photographically documented the site before works commenced; Esther Rolinson designed Trace Elements, a major integrated lighting work which connects the development with the adjacent canal and muf developed a community programme to engage different sectors in the community affected by the development and produced subsequently unrealised proposals for a foot bridge and car park.

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