Artist A. Spackman shortlisted to the final 5 of the Artists taking the lead/ Cultural Olympiad Arts Council scheme .


The Grass Covered Hill - A new Landmark for people, artists and the region

Original Proposal

The project proposes the building of a large grass covered hill in the centre of Birmingham and programme it with an eclectic set of artist led events/happenings/artworks/mini festivals/ educational projects running to the end of the Olympics in June 2012.

The hill is a new landmark for the region, dramatically changing the topography of the city terrain. Being on it gives a sense of ascent above your normal daily life and an experience of the city from a different perspective. The hill is a direct response to the growing need to bring green spaces into our cities, and prioritize ‘people spaces’ over ‘commercial spaces’.

The hill is a ‘space’ for visitors to have experiences – play, interact, explore, learn, laugh, share, discuss, socialise etc. A place for real experiences and contact with each other and the natural world rather than the virtual. For 6 months running up to the end of the Olympics in June 2012 it is ‘animated’ by a programme of works by regionally, nationally and internationally respected artists, art organisations, creatives and educationalists. The theme of this programme is ‘Play’ and is intended to seed and generate a future legacy for the arts and people in the region.

The hill also offers a unique chance for artists to bring their ideas and work out into the open. Through a residency programme, it also offers a platform and development opportunity for emerging and young artists.

Re- Proposal

‘A large interruption in the topography of the floor’

Evaluation from previous proposal process

• The hill is a ‘relational’ artwork - it is an artwork of shifting experience
• It needs ‘context’ (a gallery space) as it’s ‘lightness’ is easily miss
judged/misinterpreted – it should be brought indoors.
• The hills form should be an undulating lump. This is the most pervading image of a
hill that people have in their minds.

Artistic Rationale

The work is a continuation of my interests in:
• Avoidance of specificity, the slippery object, the problematic, work of shifting
experience, lightness
• Oscillation in the ultra thin space of uncertainty
• Conceptual sculpture, text/writing, photography, sound/projection
• This work is part of a series ‘Play.
• Other series include: Foundation Stone and Book.

New proposal

Play 4 – The Hill

• People are encouraged through media channels and business to focus on
individual progress and attainment – the hill encourages
• Outward thinking and collective experience.
• Multi directional and ‘wasteful’ activity over target driven efficiency
• It is a simple ‘device’ for experience, that prioritizes experience over the visual
• ‘Play’ creates a flickering space free from feelings of powerlessness.