Intervention / Decoration
Intervention/Decoration brought together a significant selection of both internationally renowned and emerging artists to respond to the dynamic established in the project’s title and to the physical and social structures of the distinctive Somerset market town of Frome.
The exhibition took place in multiple sites scattered throughout the winding streets and distinctive architecture of the town. Drawing on the rich social and industrial history as well as the architectural fabric of the town the artworks impose new structures on radically different spaces, transforming cultural venues, opening private sites and neglected buildings and animating public spaces.
The decorative has, for many, become pejorative when applied to visual art, whilst the term intervention has maintained a radical rhetoric, suggesting unsanctioned activity and ruptures in the norm, despite it’s vulnerability to cliché. Instead of maintaining this polarity, Intervention/Decoration presented new commissions by artists whose works all complicate the distinction between what can be considered an intervention in public space and what might be considered a gesture of decoration or ornamentation.
With decoration used as a radical intervention in the fabric of a small rural market town, and interventions as celebratory as they were challenging, Intervention/Decoration explored how artists use decoration and intervention to challenge our expectations and inspire our visions of what is possible in our public spaces.
Research and development was funded by The Arts Council England South West and The University of the West of England.
Intervention/Decoration was made possible through funding from The Arts Council England South West, Awards for All, Frome Community Lottery, The Henry Moore Foundation, Mendip District Council and Somerset County Council’s Mendip Area Working Panel and sponsorship from BAS Printers, Forward Space and Minerva Stone Conservation.