PUBLIC ART PROJECT TO BRIGHTEN UP FROME’S SAXONVALE SITE

A series of stunning scenes shot by a Frome-based photographer, Tim Gander, are to be showcased on hoardings at the town’s derelict Saxonvale site.

Mendip District Council is working with Tim to display a selection of his thought-provoking images across 13 panels, creating an innovative photographic art installation at the development.

Tim spent more than two years documenting life at the dilapidated location before the Council acquired the site and make it secure in August 2018.

The result is his series entitled ‘What Happened Here’ which highlights contemporary issues through a mixture of eyewitness photojournalism and touches of humour. The images displayed on the hoardings are just a small selection of the overall project which also tells some of the human stories connected to the site.

Tim shot all the photographs on expired film which would have been destined for landfill had he not repurposed it for the project, while local print specialists Compugraphic have been commissioned to make durable prints suitable for the outdoor display.

Tim said: “Saxonvale has remained unoccupied and unused for the best part of 20 years. This series highlights what happens when a former industrial site is left to deteriorate. Fly-tipping, vandalism and natural decay take their toll.”

It’s hoped this installation will not only serve to brighten up blank hoardings at Saxonvale, but start a conversation about community art in the area. In the coming months local schools will be invited to take part in this exciting project.

Donna Nolan, Mendip District Council’s Deputy Chief Executive, said: “This project is a celebration of our commitment to the local arts community, and an opportunity for the Council and Acorn to creatively engage with the prospective users of the site, and the people of Frome.

“It provides a fresh departure from the typical urban street scene, and throughout the life of the project we will be using the hoardings to encourage and support the creative talents and work of the community here.”

If you are interested in getting involved in the Saxonvale hoardings installation, either with ideas, artistry or to sponsor the project, please email saxonvale@mendip.gov.uk.

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