Wysing Arts Builds AMPHIS - An Amphitheatre For The Summer

By 24 Hour Museum Staff | 16 July 2008
photo shows a patch of ground with a series of piles of building materials - all recycled - laid out for use

Starting off with just a pile of recycled materials, Köbberling and Kaltwasser will evolve a structure alongside visitors and resident artists. Photo courtesy the artists

Wysing Arts Centre outside Cambridge have invited International artist/architect team Folke Köbberling and Martin Kaltwasser to design and build – in just six weeks - an 'amphitheatre', working with the local community using discarded, found and recycled materials.

Gallery organisers are asking visitors to get involved and bring along discarded materials and building rubbish. It’s all about open access and participation – visitors can take part in the residency, which is about working collaboratively to design and build a new public space within the artistic community at Wysing.

“Through our events programme and weekly talks and happenings we will be encouraging people to talk about being part of a community. I very much hope the residents of Cambridge and beyond will get involved and be part of creating a Community under Construction." said Wysing's Director, Donna Lynas.

photo shows a structure made from recycled materials

An earlier project by Köbberling and Kaltwasser. Photo courtesy the artists

Köbberling and Kaltwasser have a unique approach to creating a building for community usage - the materials they use and work with are completely recycled, discarded by the building industry or thrown away by people as 'waste'.

According to Wysing staff, the residency celebrates design, by putting it at the heart of the project. This is particularly relevant at a time of mass house building across the UK, when homogeneity and uniformity rather than quality or community sometimes predominate.

Wysing are very keen to invite visitors through July and August to be part of the AMPHIS process by volunteering their time to work alongside the residency artists across the six-week period - whether it is a day or a week or a month.

Simple carpentry skills would be welcome but no experience is necessary, just enthusiasm and time. It’s not just people or skills that are needed: organisers are keen to gather wood, doors and windows in good condition that otherwise would fill up landfill sites.

Wysing remains open to the public daily throughout the six-week residency period. Visitors are invited to view the project, engage with the residency artists from Berlin and with the 24 other resident artists on site, some of whom are contributing to the amphitheatre, but who may also be building a number of separate satellite structures - thus creating a 'settlement' at Wysing.

AMPHIS - Artists International Residency is funded by Arts Council England East with additional support from The Paul Hamlyn Foundation. The project is part of a wider Wysing programme 'Communities under Construction' that launched in March of this year.

More on the venues and organisations we've mentioned:
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