Local artists bring wow-factor to Weston shop windows
To mark the re-opening of high street trade today (12 April), shop windows in Weston town centre have been given a creative makeover, showcasing ‘wow-factor’ window art installations designed by local artists in the area.
‘Weston-super-Shop Windows’ is a project led by Weston Artspace and supported by Culture
Weston, that commissioned a group of artists from Weston, Bristol and North Somerset to brighten up the frontages of shops and empty units through an eclectic array of colourful and unique artwork.
Over 70 artists entered the Weston Artspace competition to transform a window, submitting a wide range of artwork designed to uplift the area as lockdown restrictions are eased.
The selected artists were each allocated an individual space to re-create in premises in Weston’s High Street, the Sovereign Shopping Centre, Orchard and Regent Street.
Over the past week, they have been bringing their designs alive and creating eye-catching, vibrant vistas to welcome back shoppers and visitors to the town, that will remain on display for around a month for all to enjoy.
Showcase Artists and Venues
Weston Artspace, 73 High Street, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 1HE
Rachel Ackerman: An illustrator currently based in Somerset having studied at Falmouth University, who has worked on window displays for Cornish clothing brand ‘Seasalt’.
Window design: A playful installation reminding people to hold on to how important being outdoors in nature was on our daily lockdown walks. The design shows the local wildlife around us with an interactive ‘What can you see …?’ ID poster to encourage people to take time to stop, look, learn and enjoy.
Optika Opticians, 81 High Street, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 1HE
Claire Hall: Glass artist based in Brockley, North Somerset.
Window design: Images of nature and local landscapes taken by the artist through the Covid-19 pandemic, transferred onto individual glass postcards to create ‘Postcards from Home’, a unique installation and photographic record of the coastline through 2020.
Sovereign Shopping Centre, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 1HL
Shruti Bhoyar (Unit 10): Illustrator and muralist, recently moved to Weston.
Window design: Brightly coloured, cardboard cut-out, carefree figures based on street culture and a bit of absurdity!
Ramona Bigwood (Unit 27): Bristol-based, P(r)op Artist and Scene Maker, her work reflects her fascination with geometric shapes, pop culture, puns, pattern, abstraction and surrealist symbolism.
Window design: During lockdown we had to make the best of where we were; Ramona encourages people to ‘build paradise where you are’ and her installation reimagines what already exists around you through a utopian lens. The large props featured are of iconic ’holiday’ symbols with landmarks specific to Weston and seaside towns.
Sami Green (Unit 16/17): Artist living in Burnham, teaches at Weston College. Interested in exploring immersive space, architecture and sculptural form.
Window design: ‘Evolve’ is an artwork installation arising from research into life cycles and new beginnings symbolized by seed pods. A series of giant, hand-cut, sculptural seed pods have been created, enhanced by coloured lights and reflective flooring.
Sanctuary Café, 33 Orchard Street,Weston-super-Mare, BS23 1RH
Aleks Nocny: Weston-based artist specialising in street art and murals. Originally from Poland, Aleks is the owner of tattoo shop Fox’n’Roses Tattoo and Art Gallery in Weston-super-Mare.
Window design: Aleks created a fantasy art image on wooden panels in keeping with the host shop style, currently being renovated as a vegan friendly, boardgames café and due to open soon.
Good and Proper Zero Weston, 57 Regent Street, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 1SP
Cai Burton: Bristol-based artist, illustrator and creative producer who has created murals, window displays and painted at Upfest in Bristol.
Window design: Eye catching underwater scene using Posca pens drawn directly onto the windows spanning the full width of the host shop’s frontage, that can be seen inside and out and draws the eye with its bright colours as it catches the light.
Karen Blake, at Weston Artspace, said: “We had such an amazing response to the competition that whittling down all the fantastic entries was really difficult. The final selection represents a variety of artistic styles and mediums from sculpture and glass making to illustration and street art, with something to appeal to everyone.
“As well as brightening up shop windows with colour and joy, ‘Weston-super-Shop Windows’ has been a way to commission individual artists and recognise the wealth of artistic talent that exists in the area. We want to thank all the participating venues for providing space to display this great gallery of work.”
Jon Walton, Sovereign Centre General Manager said: “The Sovereign team are delighted to be able to showcase some of these wonderful designs. They look absolutely fantastic and add wonderful colour to our centre, we are sure our customers will love them! Well done to everyone involved.”
Fiona Matthews, Creative Director at Culture Weston, added: “As the UK emerges from lockdown, we are delighted to have supported Weston Artspace in bringing paid opportunities to artists that will bring added verve and energy to Weston high street as it fills up with life once again. A glowing welcome back to the town centre!”
For details, follow @WestonArtspace and @cultureweston on social media