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☰ Edwin Stolk

Achieve by Unity | Dawn of Justice

Proposal for Yeovil 8 May

When considering the Yeovil environment 'a painting', the question is; who made it and what is our role within this landscape?

Trained as a visual artist I am the initiator of collaborative visual interventions with a special interest in public space.

As one of four selected artists I attended a micro-residency in april 2016 at Eastville Project Space in the UK. With the title; The making of a momentum I researched and later developed this proposal for Yeovil.

Yeovil unraveled itself as a nice town in the beautiful rural area of South West England. All roads lead to the St John’s church since the early beginning and follow the pattern of the surrounding hills. It occurred to me that these hills are part of its DNA and of great importance for today's ‘image’ of Yeovil.

Not only the roads have a cul-de-sac structure caused by the shape of the hills, also the urban views appear fragmented because the town is built on different levels in height. When walking the streets I missed a specific Yeovil feeling. Only uphill you manage to get an overview on what a town full of Yeovilians looks like.

The title explained:

Achieve by Unity | Dawn of Justice

I think of a triptych that is embedded in Yeovil's landscape and will refer to a wide range of my findings. The triptych form arises from early Christian art and was a popular standard format for altar paintings from the Middle Ages onwards.

My proposal connects Wyndham Hill and Glovers Walk which has similarities with the nave of a church. Where in the past religion gave direction to our understanding of life, it seems the Mind of a City is today formulated by the religion of shopping. The Mind of a City refers to the slogan: Yeovil, heart of the country, the mind of a city.

To Achieve by Unity we have to push existing borders. Achieve by Unity refers to the text on the emblem of the Yeovil Town Football club. In an individualized society we can speak of a great achievement when collaboration leads to a collective effort; as we witnessed at the Wyndham Hill protests and see today in the achievements of Frack Free Yeovil. Dawn of Justice returns the voice of the residents in surroundings predominantly designed top down. Dawn of Justice is referring here also to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. A prominent example of mass culture and is refering to an online article of Yeovil's Community Heritage Access Centre with the urgent question: Does a blue plastic Batman with a bad knee (on a blue shelf!) really reflect Yeovil’s history?

Panel 1: The Angel

Bob Osborn mentioned the lead Angel of The Angel Inn that now resides in Yeovil's Community Heritage Access Centre.

I would like to initiate the creation of a replica from the original Angel Inn sculpture made of recycled white glass in collaboration with the Somerset Waste Partnership. Its religious and historical influence shines through the surface of contemporary Yeovil, therefore the transparency of glass. The icon of The Angel communicates with Yeovilians from different cultural backgrounds.

I suggest to place The Angel up high in the nave of Glovers Walk as shown in the slideshow on the right side. When you walk from the bus station, the nave is slightly twisted to the left before The Angel appears up high in front of you as the altar in a church. It connects the Urban Planning wishes for pleasant facings that will improve the shopping circuit...

Panel 2: Blue Batman with a bad knee

Yeovil's Community Heritage Access Centre collection explains on their website what is- and what is not- collected by them with the title; Blue Batman with a bad knee. Since the incline of our religious consciousness (think of the stored Angel) today imaginative super heroes fight the evil in our society.

In an article commemorating the sixtieth anniversary of Batman, The Guardian wrote, "Batman is a figure blurred by the endless reinvention that is modern mass culture. He is at once an icon and a commodity: the perfect cultural artefact for the 21st century."

I would like to initiate the collection of old plastic collaborating with the Somerset Waste Partnership and realize a replica in blue recycled plastic of a Batman with a bad knee.

The location for this sculpture is inside Glovers Walk on the spot where a horrible attack took place. The attack, which saw the man knocked to the ground and assaulted, happened in Glovers Walk at 2300 BST on 8 May 2011.

As you might know, Batman's secret identity is Bruce Wayne. After witnessing the murder of his parents as a child, he swore revenge on criminals, an oath tempered by a sense of justice.

Returning to the question: Does a blue plastic Batman with a bad knee (on a blue shelf!) really reflect Yeovil's history? It is important to mention an Western Gazette article from 4 April 2016: Aquaman: Yeovil designer tops 'dream team' for Batman and Superman comics company.

Panel 3: Wyndham Hill & Magnificent Flying Machines

When you are leaving Glovers Walk towards the bus station, you face the fire department on the other side of the street where a large rectangular tower is situated. It looks like a pedestal without a sculpture on top.

Art is in my opinion never a static object but an imaginative machinery that has to feed our innovative minds.

To make this triptych a real imaginative machinery, it is necessary to call into life an annual ceremony on 8 May 2300 BST (the date of the glovers walk attack mentioned in the description of Panel 2) when crowds gather at Wyndham Hill to celebrate their favorite catalyst. Refering to the celebration of the Golden Jubilee in 1887 of Queen Victoria.

Panel 3 asks Yeovilians to nominate on a yearly basis a person among their midst (not a politician) that is a true catalyst for the Yeovil community. A role figure who connects, takes the lead or did something worth remembering that year. By filling a simple form on- or offline an alive election can be organized amongst Yeovilians.

To bring the right ode I suggest to collaborate with RNAS Yeovilton and ask them for a yearly humanitarian mission with four helicopters in Yeovil. Helicopters are part of Yeovil's DNA. The idea is to fly with three helicopters behind each other over the Wyndham Hill summit where Yeovilians gather at 2300 BST sharp on 8 May.

The helicopters fly than, each to one of the three main gateways (Gateway Art Yeovil Urban Development Framework Report 2005) of the town centre and put a beam of light from high straight down to highlight these spots. With this action they welcome the last three new Yeovilians in town (their names will be announced in the local newspaper) and form the backdrop for the forth helicopter.

While these three helicopters stay in position, a forth helicopter flies over Wyndham Hill and positions right above the pedestal near the bus station and sets it in full light with its spotlight for about five minutes (Lighting Strategy Yeovil Urban Development Framework report 2005). After that the helicopter flies back to the hill and away over the crowd, once totally away he is followed by the three other helicopters on a precise distance.

Names of the honored catalysts will be carved in a steel plaque on the pedestal.

Achieve by Unity | Dawn of Justice needs a broad support and can count so far on the generous support of:

This project was mentioned in the following press: (more info soon)

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images | video | eastville project space

Best regards, Edwin Stolk.