Artists set up Tent City in Central Bristol

Tony Gosling tony at
Thu Sep 23 00:31:57 BST 2010

Come take a stroll in 'tent city'

By Emily Koch

COLLEGE Green has been taken over by a "tent 
city" for the week – in the name of art.

The community art installation, called Portents, 
will be on display until September 26.

The grass outside the Council House has been 
filled with 50 tents printed with images created 
by schools, churches, community groups and individual artists.

Portents is led by John Easterby and the St 
Paul's- based Pierian Centre, the team who hung a 
four metre-high series of black and white 
photographs depicting refugees and the effects of 
war and famine at Temple Meads station in 2008.

The project is part of Bristol's contribution to 
the European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion.

Funding for the project came from Awards For All, 
Arts Council England (£20,000); Faiths in Action 
(£6,000); Bristol City Council's Single Project 
Fund (£6,400) and the Legacy Commission (£4,000).

But Pierian Centre founder director June Burrough 
said: "We have had a lot of people who have given 
an enormous amount of time and energy in kind as 
well as sponsorship in the form of discounted rates.

"If you were to put a figure on all of this as 
well as the actual financial amounts, the cost would be at least £80,000."

More than a thousand people have been involved in 
it – groups and individuals across Bristol were 
asked to respond to the theme of Home, Histories 
and Hope in creating images and poems to be printed on their tent.

Some of the tents have poetry on them, others 
have photographs, children's artwork and graffiti.

A series of six tents have portraits of 
individuals from Bedminster, taken by local photographer Andrew "Beezer" Beese.

John Easterby, who grew up in Bristol, said:"I 
wish I'd worked on more projects like this during my career.

"I've learnt such a lot from Portents, seen 
people at their finest and most dignified, and 
worked with passionate and dedicated colleagues."

Events are planned through the week. On Friday 
people are invited to join Stephen Williams MP to 
discuss community cohesion over lunch.

Portents is a free event and the opening hours 
are 9am-7.30pm Monday to Thursday, and 9am-6pm Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

For further information about the event, contact 
0117 924 4512 or email info@

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