South Oxfordshire District Council appointed Artpoint to carry out work in connection with the setting up and management of consultant and community artists residencies and associated commissioned artworks for the new Didcot Arts Centre, Cornerstone.
Two artists: Jacqui Poncelet and Richard Layzell, have been involved in the design development of the Centre, with the aim of influencing design decisions, providing a catalyst for community involvement and creating a new series of artworks as part of the building fabric.
Jacqui contributed to the external façade of the building, suggesting a system of horizontal and vertical cladding panels with a single folded edge used in different configurations around the building. Her aim was to maximize the potential and enliven the streetscape of a building set in a pedestrian area. The simplicity of the folds respond to variations in light, casting shadows and responding to changes in light throughout the day. Jacqui also proposed complimentary acoustic internal paneling and contributed to the auditorium colour scheme.
Richard Layzell is responsible for the design, fabrication and installation of four art commissions to be created in collaboration with community participants as an integrated part of the final building design.
Richard worked with a group of 25 adults with learning disabilities at Style Acres Day Centre and their care support staff to produce hand painted and carved wooden door handles for the auditorium doors. Richard also led workshops in local schools in which the pupils were asked to come up with designs for perforated panels to be incorporated into the cladding of the building. One design was selected through a judged competition to be developed into a detailed design. There is a display located on the hoardings of the building with all of the entries and the successful design.
Richard will lead further workshops with local community groups to develop a scheme of works for exhibition within a window wall, an artwork in its own right and a space for a range of changing information, exhibitions and installations permanently visible from the outside. He will also present the ‘everyday jewels’ – a structure designed to delight and surprise, presenting the humble fragment as a precious jewel. It is intended that the ‘everyday jewels cabinets will display archaeological remains and collected 'units' made by local people, through a series of workshops.