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stephen hurrell

Undeclared Public Art, Unconscious Gestures, Minuments and Monuments

Shift/Work | 2011 Edinburgh Art Festival, Portobello Beach


CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 August 2011 Curated by Neil Mulholland Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International

CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 August 2011 Shift/Workshop 4 by Stephen Hurrell:Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International

The fourth Shift/Workshop was supervised by the Glasgow-based artist Stephen Hurrell:


The starting point for this workshop is to look at what already exists in this particular environment. This will be a way of investigating the area in and around Portobello and exploring its character.


We will then ask the question;  ‘What can be added or adjusted? 


The intention is to work quickly, intuitively, and with a sense of play, to generate ideas, possibilities, arrangements and interventions. 



Essential - A digital camera or smartphone. If you use a smartphone, a selfie stick will be very useful.


Useful but not essential - An audio recording device (smartphone) 


Useful but not essential - Photo editing app for your smartphone.






After an introduction and short presentation by Stephen Hurrel students will break up into smaller groups to explore four local areas.


You will take photos, make observations and select existing objects to acquire ‘public art status’. 




We will meet to look at what we have all found and documented. We will discuss the images.


Based on our discussions, there will also be opportunities ‘to rearrange or make adjustments to what already exists’ and ‘create interventions’ within the local environment. We will form an ‘undeclared sculpture trail’ based on our findings.


At the end of this process we will attempt to answer the question:

‘what types, or forms, of public art are actually relevant for this context?’


Stephen Hurrel studied sculpture (BA Hons and Postgraduate) at Glasgow School of Art, Scotland. Since 1990 he has explored a broad range of media and has produced many installations and exhibitions throughout the UK and abroad. He is interested in the role of the artist in society and how art can function in specific contexts. He has explored various forms of interactivity between art, site and people. In particular he is interested in how new media technology can help us to access the ‘unseen’ and ‘unheard’ aspects of our environment. His current research is based on an ecological use of technology within an environmental art context and engaging with the idea of ‘the sublime’ in relation to art and landscape. He is based in Glasgow.

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