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Two acclaimed artists to take up residencies on Scilly

Two internationally-acclaimed artists are to take up week-long residencies next month to scope ideas for permanent installations on the Isles of Scilly.

Luke Jerram and Gordon Young have been appointed by Creative Islands, the Arts Council-funded project for Scilly led by the Islands’ Partnership, with a view to developing proposals for permanent artworks on the islands.

Both will visit in early November, Luke staying on St Martin’s and Gordon on St Mary’s. They will use their time to familiarise themselves with the islands and engage with residents, visitors and Scilly’s local artists through community workshops, lectures, and activities at the Five Islands School.

Luke's artistic practice involves the creation of sculptures, installations and live arts projects. Living in the UK but working internationally for more than 20 years, he has created a number of extraordinary art projects which have excited and inspired people around the globe.

He has a particular interest in science and astronomy, and creating artworks which invite people to engage directly with the work. One of his current projects is Museum of the Moon, an internally lit sculpture seven metres in diameter which features 120dpi detailed NASA imagery of the lunar surface. Experienced by more than 2.5 million people worldwide, the artwork has recently toured India with the British Council, been presented at the Commonwealth Games in Australia and exhibited in Aarhus, Denmark for the European Capital of Culture.

While visiting Scilly, Luke will be working with the COSMOS astronomy group on St Martin’s to research and develop a proposal for a permanent commission which reflects this unique aspect of the Isles of Scilly.

Gordon Young is one of the UK’s leading artists in the field of public art. His work often features typography, and reflects his interest in stories, significant tales, poetry and collective memories. He has created projects as diverse as a series of sculptural climbing walls in Blackpool, a forest of typographic trees in Crawley, a Wall of Wishes in a Bristol school, and a cursing stone in Carlisle.

His most ambitious work to date is the Comedy Carpet, a 2,200 square metre paving installation by Blackpool Tower featuring jokes and punchlines from comedians who have performed in Blackpool over the decades. Gordon has a collaborative approach to his projects and over the years has enjoyed working with architects, engineers, foresters, cyclists, librarians, climbers, ornithologists and code-breakers.

Gordon will be visiting Scilly to consider some imaginative ways of exploring and interpreting Scilly’s rich heritage, using the Isles of Scilly Museum and its many collections as part of his research.

Luke and Gordon were selected after a tender process that attracted a number of applications for residencies to help the Isles of Scilly develop its cultural offer. While they will focus on Scilly’s dark skies and rich cultural heritage, a third artist will also be appointed who will focus on the more digital artistic form and our smart energy practices on the Isles of Scilly.

“We’re thrilled that such eminent artists as Luke and Gordon responded to our tender process and feel inspired to learn more about the Isles of Scilly and our artistic community, as well as come up with proposals for permanent installations,” said David Jackson, Executive Director of the Islands’ Partnership.

“Our Creative Islands project is delivering tremendous opportunities for Scilly to help realise its ambition to become a destination of choice for artists, writers and innovative folk. We hope that all our artists’ residencies will inspire a new audience to visit the Isles of Scilly.”

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