Erdington launch for Polish artist.
A new public art project is currently being unveiled in Birmingham by internationally acclaimed Polish artist Joanna Rajkowska, commissioned by PEA. Based in London, Rajkowska has achieved recognition for several of her earlier public art commissions which include Forcing a Miracle, displayed in London as part of Frieze Projects 2012. Soon Everything Will Change is the title of her new temporary public project inaugurated in Erdington from Saturday 31st May until Monday 23rd June.
The work comprises a large crystal formation that has been installed in the patio area near Erdington Library. The crystal originates from Brazil, a place recently visited by the artist. There, Rajkowska was fascinated by the country’s fusion of different beliefs, spirituals and rituals and as a result of this has decided to bring a Brazilian crystal to Erdington to establish a temporary ‘chakra’ there. The meaning of chakra is twisted in this project – a spiritual centre in the human body, also understood as a point of high energy in the city.
Aside from the function intended by the artist, the public are invited to construct their own reasons for its presence. Its ambiguous status as a jewel, healing object, street wonder and a sculpture questions the pragmatic definition of public art. It is an object that can shift imaginations and perceptions and perhaps really will become a chakra, a focus of energy for the area.
The project is already sparking debate across the city about what public art is and how it could affect the environment we live in. Roma Piotrowska, Art Programme Coordinator and the project’s curator at PEA states that “a good work of public art makes communities feel more connected and serves as a platform for public dialogue. It is envisaged that the project will provoke members of different communities living and working in the area to meet, discuss and participate in various activities. Thanks to the artist’s residencies and associated events this project has already enabled people from diverse backgrounds to meet, exchange views and experiences”.
The project launches On Saturday 31st May at 12pm with a performance by musicians from the Waste Paper Opera Company. A special publication has been produced to accompany the work, The Alternative Guide to Erdington, which comprises a collection of stories that intend to reveal another face to this part of Birmingham. To coincide with the project, PEA has organised a series of events which include an artist talk, workshops, photo walk and a mini seminar on public art. Details of such can be found on the PEA website – www.polishexpats.org.uk/news.
Soon Everything Will Change is part of Public Art Erdington, supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, Birmingham City Council and Polish Cultural Institute in London.