site-specific showdown

Draft for statement of intent

Site & Development

I have chosen to create a site-specific artwork based on or in the grounds of Blackford Hill. The area is very closely linked with leisure activities, being an excellent and interesting place to walk dogs, go for a jog, and an excellent hotspot for sledging in the winter. It is also home to Edinburgh’s observatory, blackford pond and a variety of allotments. All these elements come together to give opportunity to a huge amount of possibilities. I first knew of the hill as a child whilst going to visit the duck pond there, since then its been a great place to go on walks and relax. A problem that could arise is public opinion as many people use the area each day; I may choose to use their participation as part of the artwork.

To start with, I will explore the area carefully taking several photos to document parts of the hill that intrigue me. As soon as possible after this I would love to get immensely involved in the site and spend a lot of time there experimenting with different ideas. Through this process I hope to be able to clarify a concept which I can then develop into a final artwork. Hopefully I will be able to make the artwork and present it in its setting, if this is impossible due to the scale or lack of materials, I will endeavour to make a smaller scale maquette to give an idea of what the art will be. This would come with a proposal for the artwork.

Sources and Resources

Throughout the project, I will take visits to the site, and if possible would like to spend most of the project there. An important part of the site-specific art form is the context of the work, both the art that has come before it, and also the historical context of the area. For this I will need to visit local libraries to find books about it, maps may also be necessary. The Telford LRC will be open to me, and the studio will be important for making artwork if the need arises. The Fine Art Library will be of good use throughout the project; there will hopefully be books on site-specific artist who have worked in a similar fashion to myself. These of course will influence me. Other influences may include the public’s opinion whilst working there, and also whilst setting up, eg on my first visit one of the visitors remarked how much being at the duck pond was like the movie “Birds” by Alfred Hitchcock.

Techniques and Resources

I will use a variety of different methods and techniques during the project, mainly in experimentation. Performance may be used, as may sculpture. There are not very many opportunities to use painting in the project due to the restrictions of the site. It may be necessary to use materials gathered from the site, and also to build structures; the materials for the latter can be bought from DIY stores. Other shops may also play key roles in supplying the media.


To get the optimum time management throughout the course it will be important to work quickly during the experimentation and investigation stages to get as many ideas ready for development as possible. It will also be of use to evaluate throughout to know which ideas to dismiss right away


Week 1 – Choose and investigate the site you have chosen, make notes on what themes can be explored around the area and brainstorm several ideas

Week 2 – Return to the site, apply some of the ideas to the site and document the work. Evaluate the work you have just completed

Week 3 – After evaluating choose a handful of ideas and strengthen their concept through the criticism and praise from classmates

Week 4 – Carry out the ideas at the site. Prepare for Crit. Crit

Week 5 – Evaluate work with comments from class and tutors in mind, continue to develop one concept from the experiments explored earlier in the project

Week 6 – If the concept requires a large sculpture, structure, or something that is not possible, then work should begin on making a scale representation of the site and a proposal to go along with it, idea should be developed along side of this also. If concept is seeming possible to construct, continue development of the concept and work towards a final idea

Week 7 – Concept should be clear and concise, same with intent. Work should now be completely focussed on creating the final piece

Week 8 – Assemble the final piece in the site, evaluate work and prepare for crit. Crit


As said previously, the work will be evaluated throughout the project with aids from the tutors, classmates and outside influences; these people will hopefully help me identify the strengths and weaknesses of the artwork during the development of it. At the end of the project I will attempt to evaluate the project myself, but after the crit I will look deeper into the flaws and successes of the artwork.

During the visit I was astounded at how many oppurtunities for art there were; I was surprised to find no art there already.

It was really interesting because there really is so so much to find up there. The second a theme starts to come to mind, hundreds of other things spring into it. One example of this was drawn from the universe theme which spawned from the observatory. I started to notice the hill looked a lot like a moonscape. So that was weird. And then there were hundreds of footsteps – “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”.