Simon & Tom Bloor / Lecture


Twin brothers, Simon and Tom Bloor both live and work in Birmingham and are renowned for their ‘Public Art’, creative works and projects that relate to public spaces.  Their projects are inspired by History, themes and utopian themes, especially the history of their home town Birmingham. They showed several pieces of their works but the one I loved, “Playing for Play” was based on children’s play spaces.

In 2008/9 they created the project ‘playing for play’ which was inspired by the journey to and from college they used to walk, in which they would pass a ‘John Bridgeman’ Sculpture from the 1950’s, they discovered that this was made for children to play but remained as a sculpture. They both then went on to discuss the roots of these type of sculptures; Sculptures began to created and appeared  from the 1950’s after the war hit in the UK/North Europe, when people were looking for contemporary art so sculptures were made acting as a dual purpose, as a big rebuild defining art and for children to play on, a way of brightening up the cities after the depression of the war.

(The 'John Bridgeman' sculpture that inspired the Bloor's to create their 'Design for Pleasure')
(The ‘John Bridgeman’ sculpture that inspired the Bloor’s to create their ‘Design for Pleasure’)

Their work started by drawing the idea then they developed their own structures. They took into account the ‘graffiti’ that had accumulated on the John Bridgeman sculpture was an injection of colour, and although this wasn’t originally a feature of the original sculpture they incorporated into their own piece incorporating the original graffiti vandalism aspect and adding colour to their work which was eventually finished and exhibited in Lemington Spa in 2013, the piece was then called “Design for Pleasure”.

('Design for Pleasure' - by Simon and Tom Bloor - 25th January-21st April 2013 - comissioned and exhibited by Lemmington spa)
(‘Design for Pleasure’ – by Simon and Tom Bloor – 25th January-21st April 2013 – comissioned and exhibited by Lemmington spa)

I’m not fond of public art/sculptures usually as they don’t really appeal to me aesthetically, but knowing the back story of the Bloor’s piece, made me appreciate this type of art more, and I really admire it.  I really enjoyed how they talked in detail about how they first got their inspiration quite young during college and have kept it and finally created the piece instead of forgetting it; this really relates back to the topic of Transmission ‘An unsentimental education’.


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