Putting Parchment Street on the map

Winchester City Council has been working with Parchment Street retailers on a new public art commission - to help put the speciality shopping street more firmly on the map.

The project demonstrates the council’s commitment to supporting the local economy, and those involved are now hoping that local people will play their part in deciding which artist to work with.

Following a national trawl for artists with the experience and vision to meet the brief, a shortlist of three artists has been approached for proposals. An exhibition of drawings and models, which could grace the street, will be displayed in the new Business Centre in Parchment Street from Tuesday 9th October, and local residents and businesses are invited to come and comment.

Artists Peter Codling, Marzia Colonna and Andy Hazell have spent the last month working with local businesses and specialist officers from Winchester City Council to come up with their initial  designs for a public art commission. Their challenge was to create an installation for the street to raise its profile and attract people to explore the many independent shops and businesses operating there.

Cllr George Beckett, Portfolio Holder for Economy and Tourism and Leader of the City Council, said: “We have been implementing a package of measures designed to support our speciality shopping areas, including the highly successful part-pedestrianisation of The Square, new pedestrian signs, a speciality shopping leaflet and dedicated pages on the council’s tourism website.

“This is our most ambitious and exciting project,” he added, “and a highly appropriate one in Winchester’s Year of Sculpture. I would encourage people to go and view the proposals: the city centre is shared by us all, and we are keen to ensure that we hear a wide range of opinions.”

One of the retailers who came up with the original idea is Lawson Bell of Bell Fine Art in Parchment Street. He said: “I am really excited that we have finally reached the stage of seeing the ideas these creative people have come up with.”

Following the exhibition, one artist will be asked to develop their design so that it can be installed in early 2008.

Visitors can view the exhibition as follows:

  • Tuesday 9th                    9.30am – 7pm
  • Wednesday 10th             9.30am – 4.30pm
  • Thursday 11th                 9.30am – 4.30pm
  • Saturday 13th                 10am – 12 noon
  • Tuesday 16th                  9.30am – 4.30pm
  • Wednesday 17th             9.30am - 4.30pm
  • Thursday 18th                 9.30am – 7pm

Also on display in the Business Centre is a photographic exhibition by Winchester School of Art student Kay May, called “One Way or the Other” which features scenes of Parchment Street from an unusual angle.

For more information please contact Winchester City Council’s Arts Development Officer Marilyn Michalowicz on mmichalowicz@winchester.gov.uk or 01962 848 175.