High up on a hill on the outskirts of Brighton & Hove is a new, wind-powered business park in the area of Woodingdean. It sits right on the edge of the South Downs and is now the new home for BLB Chartered Surveyors & Engineers who have moved here from the North Laine area in the centre of Brighton.
Our brief was to welcome around 100 guests to their new offices – to inhabit and warm what was still a “shell” of a building. We installed a number of CiCi’s inflatable sculptures and her Measuring Room, Joe’s sound installation of local bird song, a Drawing Room that saw the transformation of the Finance Director’s office into an artists studio, and we made a [Time] Table of Ideas for visitors to write their memories on. For this we used the old boardroom table – it symbolised to us the journey of the hundred year-old firm, who have arrived in their new habitat with a history in tow. The Table became the connection between the past and the present, with guests invited to write down memorable moments/stories on the timeline, to mark and celebrate a century or more of activity. Joe toured the entire event with his Listening Ears and recorded short interviews and conversations with the guests.
We invited Amy Smith, a Ceramic Artist from BLANK Studios, to install her lovely work in a downstairs office, transforming the room into a temporary gallery space.
Directors, partners and staff at BLB were very happy with the response to our interactive event; the high turnout and enthusiastic engagement with the artworks and environments meant the evening was a great success. We, in turn, were delighted with the opportunity to inhabit and transform their offices for a day and to encourage an Involuntary Park to grow in the unlikeliest of places.