Throughout the Whitefriars project, Land Securities commissioned a series of public art installations to enable visitors to engage in innovative ways with the development project.
Artist-in-residence Janet Hodgson created a series of temporary sound and video installations exploring the theme of the 'Time Machine'. The works were composed of video projections on the inside and/or outside of shop windows and a construction based on the time machine in George Pal's 1960 film version of H.G. Wells' classic story. This was fabricated from cardboard boxes which once contained digital commodities.
Janet's permanent work celebrates the artistry of archaeology that both records and interprets on-site archaeological findings.
It consists of sandblasted drawings in the york stone paving slabs of Whitefriars Square.
The sandblasted drawings are exact copies of the stratigraphic archaeological drawings of the pits or holes that were found on the site during the excavations, enlarged to full size and positioned exactly where they were discovered.
The work was developed during more than a year's observations of the archaeological excavation and recording that took place on the site. Janet was fascinated not only in what the archaeologists found, but also in the detail of the excavation process, what the archaeologists considered important and how they 'drew' time. She was also struck by the archaeological practice of removal - a direct inversion of the normal process of construction.
The drawings reproduced on the paving stones were executed with exacting precision, all using the agreed form of notation or language, yet each one retains the hand of the person who drew them They serve as permanent reminders of the many dedicated and talented individuals who worked on the site.
A second permanent art installation by Kenny Hunter was installed in St George's Lane in August 2005. The bronze work addresses a diverse range of historical, religious and contemporary social currents, through its singular sculptural form - a lamb standing on a tree stump. This organic, pastoral composition contrasts strongly with its location, a dynamic city centre site.
The result is an intimate, tactile and ancient form placed within a busy public environment of modernity.
Kenny Hunter's inspiration for the work includes William Blake's 'Jerusalem', the hymn being synonymous with English identity and yearning for social justice. Kenny further considers the contemporary social condition that sees England reassess and adjust itself to a rapidly changing political and social environment and what being English means at the beginning of the 21st century.