Artists Walter & Zoniel offer new look for the Brighton suburbs

Artists Walter & Zoniel are bringing colourful outdoor work to Brighton suburbs, drawing on the stories gathered from community members

Tuesday, 21st July 2020, 10:00 am
Walter & Zoniel
Walter & Zoniel

Spokeswoman Nicola Jeffs: “A new work – A Simple Act of Wonder – by Walter & Zoniel celebrates human connection and our experiences of joy in unprecedented times. The collaborative project is a co-commission with Brighton Festival and was originally due for completion in April but was put on hold due to the coronavirus crisis.

“Colourful, outdoor artworks are on display in the Brighton suburbs of Moulsecoomb and Bevendean for residents to experience from their homes or during outdoor activity. Painting of this new work, which was planned by the artists at home during lock-down, is now underway so local communities can be the first to see it unfold.

“Aspects of the project will also take place at Fabrica and will be accessible by online visitors via https://www.fabrica.org.uk/a-simple-act-of-wonder from July 30.

“The artists will use brightly coloured house paint, grass paint and gels to create interventions on community spaces and streets, bringing a rich palette of colour to the residential areas. “The work was created during a unique period in our national and global history: the COVID-19 pandemic and at a time where social connectivity is both digitally prevalent and physically absent.

“It examines the issues of human connection, inclusivity and our experiences of joy. With a mix of colour, photography, humour, meditation, heritage and geography, Walter & Zoniel forge a tender connection between people and communities.”

Nicola added: “Walter & Zoniel spent the early part of 2020 getting to know the communities of Moulsecoomb and Bevendean to develop the series of collaborative interventions.

“All of the works respond to the stories that they gathered from the residents they met and the architectural character and history of the place.

“The work creates a temporary transformation of the neighbourhood through a new aesthetic that teases out a different story about the locations, a story that complicates and contradicts the prevailing narrative of this area.”

At Fabrica, Walter & Zoniel have applied an equally bright treatment to the gallery space, creating a large floor piece that echoes the interventions at Moulsecoomb and Bevendean, whils playing off interior details, such as the stained glass windows, steep curves and tall ceilings.

Liz Whitehead, Fabrica’s director, curator of the project, said: “For Fabrica, A Simple Act of Wonder is the first in what we hope will become a longer term programme of opportunities for artists that link to the Moulsecoomb and Bevendean communities through the visual arts. “We are excited to begin this journey, with such colourful and joyful artwork, that so many people can see and that so many took part in making.

“We wanted to highlight it now, for the communities that helped bring it to life and who are able to experience the works at a safe distance, whether that be on their daily outdoor time or to brighten the journey of one of our valued key workers. We hope once it is safe to do so we can work to create new connections across the city as planned and use this work to do so.”

“Walter & Zoniel are an artistic duo collaborating and exhibiting internationally. Their practice is multidisciplinary, with interactive and socially engaging installations/performances being one aspect of their work.

“Themes central to their practice are a meditation upon our existence and reflection of the intricacies of the relationships we have with each other and with the natural world around us.

“Walter & Zoniel’s work seek to charm and entice the viewer into deeper thought and becoming present in the moment.

“Their installation/performance works have been commissioned by Tate Britain, Somerset House and Photo London. Their site-specific installations for a general public have also been presented in Miami, San Francisco, London, Liverpool and Durham. Additionally they have been commissioned by many national and international festivals, art fairs and galleries.”

Their work has been acquired by the National Art Collection and the National Portrait Gallery collection. They were part of Brighton Festival 2017.

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