Artichoke Commission Mader Wiermann installation to celebrate the Apollo Pavilion at 50

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the creation of Victor Pasmore’s iconic Apollo Pavilion, Artichoke, a UK producer of art in the public realm, have commissioned Berlin-based collective of artists and architects Mader Wiermann to create an installation that will reflect the Brutalist architecture of the Pavilion. This will be followed by an education programme culminating in a new showcase of work at Lumiere in November.

Taking place over two nights from Friday 22nd March – Saturday 23rd March, 6pm – 9.30pm, the installation has been commissioned by Durham County Council and launches a year-long programme of community activity and engagement celebrating the anniversary of the Apollo Pavilion and 100 years since the founding of the German Bauhaus School of Art. The Pavilion remains a rare UK example of a large-scale experiment in the synthesis of art and architecture. Named after the Apollo moon landing it represents a bold vision and modernist optimism which underpinned the architecture of Britain’s New Towns. Pasmore was also influenced by the theory of form developed by Bauhaus artists such as Josef Albers.

Mader Wiermann will transform the brutalist facade of the Pavilion with a light and video mapping installation, celebrating these three major sources of inspiration which artist Victor Pasmore drew on when designing the structure.
The installation will allude to the moon landings with projections of the shadow of the Apollo landing shuttle. The installation will also incorporate monochrome geometric patterns, which reflect the Bauhaus style, and out of these bold lines will emerge amorphic forms which evoke the paintings of Victor Pasmore and will temporarily transform the Pavilion into a moving, flowing structure.

Following the installation in March, Artichoke will also deliver a community-based learning and education project. The project will see 15 local young people invited to take part in a series of masterclasses in partnership with the Guildhall School of Music and Drama BA course in Video Design for Live Performance, with the resulting new work showcased at Lumiere in November 2019.

Helen Marriage, Artichoke CEO said: “This is an exciting addition to the work we do with Durham County Council for Lumiere and a wonderful opportunity for us and the artists Mader Wiermann to make a unique artwork for this iconic structure. It is a year of anniversaries: 50 years since the Pavilion was unveiled, 50 years since the Apollo landings on the moon, 100 years of Bauhaus, and 10 years of Lumiere. The project will also mark a deepening of Artichoke’s educational work around the Lumiere festivals in 2019 and 2021, with a programme of masterclasses in partnership with Guildhall School of Music and Drama, through which young people from Durham will be able to access specialist higher education and career opportunities in the field of lighting and video design.”

The installation comes ahead of what is the tenth anniversary edition of Lumiere and forms part of the Year of Culture, #Durham19, a programme of events, festivals, anniversaries and openings taking place in the county during 2019.

Cllr Ossie Johnson, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for tourism, culture, leisure and rural issues, said: “We’re delighted to be marking half a century of this truly unique artwork, in a year in which we are celebrating our county’s wonderful cultural offer through #Durham19. It’s great to be teaming up with Artichoke to get the commemorations underway, ahead of the tenth anniversary edition of Lumiere later this year, and we’re sure the light installation inspired by this piece of classic Brutalist architecture will prove hugely popular.”

Photos by Lee Dobson

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