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The Architecture Centre
Narrow Quay

Wed 20 Sep 2017
18:00 - 19:30


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Art in the public realm can be bound by, or springs from, civic structures for engagement.

Join speakers Theresa Bergne, Jo Plimmer and Kim Wide to discuss the challenges and rewards of commissioning art with urban communities.

This free event is open to all and we think would be of interest to those interested in public art, and amongst others: artists, community groups, curators, producers, students, placemakers.


As part of the talk, curator Theresa Bergne will discuss the Future Perfect public art commissions in Hengrove South Bristol that took place from 2012-16. One of these commissions led Jo Plimmer, an arts engagement consultant and coordinator, to meet Garth England who shared his remarkable collection of drawings with her. Jo will discuss the significance of meeting Garth to the Future Perfect project (Garth’s drawings are currently on show in an exhibition in the Architecture Centre gallery). Theresa and Jo will discuss how working with local communities to bring to light the history of the area in Hengrove was key to the artist commissions realised by international artists Martino Gamper, Nils Norman and David Thorpe.

Kim Wide is Director of Take a Part, and will share insights into this socially engaged arts project for Plymouth communities. Take a Part commissions work that responds to local needs, embedding contemporary arts practice in the process of regeneration.


Further information:

Future Perfect

Future Perfect was an ambitious programme of public art commissioned for Hengrove Ward, a residential area in south Bristol. It was commissioned by Bristol City Council and was the first public art programme to be funded through a Neighbourhood Partnership in which governance is extended to members of the Hengrove community. Future Perfect was curated by Jes Fernie and Theresa Bergne and was commissioned by Aldo Rinaldi.

Upon discovering Garth England’s drawings during the project, a selection of Garth’s drawings were used as part of a theatre curtain design for Hengrove Community Centre by artist Nils Norman which led to the development of a fully illustrated book, Murdered by Straight Lines: Drawings of Bristol by Garth England (Bristol: Redcliffe Press, 2016).

Take A Part

Take A Part makes art in the public interest in Plymouth. It is a socially engaged contemporary art organisation that works with communities to co-commission and co-create contemporary art in order to: risk-take, provoke and engage communities to establish and respond to local agenda and need.

For more information about the projects visit:

Future Perfect

Take A Part


Speaker Biographies:

Theresa Bergne

Theresa is an independent curator and producer specialising in commissioning artists to work in the public realm. Her passion is to work with artists to develop new work outside of the formal gallery setting; to broaden audiences for the visual arts; and to broker the often complex relationships with partners to make this possible.

For the past 20 years she has worked under the auspices of her own organisation, Field Art Projects delivering both permanent and temporary works for public and private sector organisations.  This has included managing an exhibition and commissioning programme in the built environment for the Canary Wharf Group in Docklands, curating and producing exemplar programmes in hospitals (Barts West Wing), student settings (University of Bristol), and for regeneration programmes in London, Bristol and Weston-super-Mare.

She also initiates her own projects including the acclaimed work by Janet Cardiff 40 Part Motet and is currently developing an ambitious project along the coast in rural North Devon.  Since 2011 she has also been delivering participation projects in the southwest working with local neighbourhood partnerships and housing associations, and she co-curated the Future Perfect art programme in Hengrove, which led to the discovery of Garth England’s drawings.

Jo Plimmer

Jo is an arts engagement consultant and coordinator with twenty years’ experience of working in the visual arts, heritage and education sectors. With a BA Hons Degree in Ancient History and Archaeology, she is particularly interested in projects bringing together contemporary art and heritage practice.

Jo has coordinated gallery-based education and engagement across the South West (Black Swan Arts and Rook Lane Arts, Frome, Quay Arts, Isle of Wight), South East (Turner Contemporary, Margate) and East Midlands (Leicester Museums and Soft Touch Arts). She has also coordinated public art programmes in Gloucestershire (as Visual Arts Officer for Gloucester City Council, and Project Manager for Willis Newson), Bath and North East Somerset (Willis Newson: Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership) and Bristol (Bristol City Council and Future Perfect, Hengrove, which led to Jo’s meeting with Garth England).

Since 2015 Jo has coordinated Generation ART, a national touring exhibition of art created by children and young people aged 5 – 18, led by Engage, lead advocacy and training network for gallery education. Aiming to demonstrate the importance of art and design learning for the next generation, the tour received 203,000 visitors and engaged 22,811 young people and their families as participants.

Kim Wide

Kim Wide is a curator and consultant skilled in communications, engagement, access to arts and culture, impacts of social practice and organisational change and development. She has worked both nationally and internationally to engage communities and the public in sustainable, engaging, educational and risk-taking projects about people’s lives and communities. She brings that expertise to support organisations, schools, museums, universities and local authorities to increase audience, relevance and reach.

Educated in Canada, Kim came to the UK in 2003 and worked for ArtSway, Kaleido Arts and now at Take A Part, where she has established an innovative co-commissioning public realm curatorial process developed and managed by communities themselves. Kim has developed the project from a pilot to an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation, supporting the strategic regeneration of the City of Plymouth.

This event is part of the Opening Doors to Heritage programme, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Historic England.