Exhibition: Heather and Ivan Morison – Sleepers Awake, Sittingbourne, Kent, October 1-27 2011
© Emma Wilcox
To devise works of art which might impact on an entire county can be no easy task. Galleries are easily walked past and most public sculpture can hardly be expected to draw mainstream crowds.
But artists Heather and Ivan Morison have created a project soon to be visible for 21 miles. In North Kent towns Sittingbourne and Faversham, it will be impossible to ignore. So that must have ticked the box marked public engagement for organisers Artlands.
Sleepers Awake will be so conspicuous, organisers have informed the Civil Aviation Authority. Not many artworks float 400 feet above the ground. And few may appear to be a new celestial body.
It remains to be seen what a large insomnia-inducing sun will do for the North Kent population. Locals who venture out should expect to see familiar landscapes, and with luck their many neighbours, bathed in an eerie green glow.
Organisers predict this will reunite North Kent communities. And if sci-fi films are anything to go by, it should work. At the very least it will bring together the team assembled to guard the spectacular project.
The artists may still be coming to terms with the fate of another recent high impact piece called Luna Park. This sculpture of a dinosaur in Portsmouth was visible from as far away as the Isle of Wight.
The Ultrasauros burnt under mysterious circumstances. So the Morisons' latest project will be a new, unexpected dawn, albeit a characteristically dark one.
- Open dusk till dawn. Admission free. See the Artlands website for locations.