Swindon AdvertiserA little art magic hits roundabout (From Swindon Advertiser)

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A little art magic hits roundabout

Swindon Advertiser: Artist Katie Brightside with her piece of art which was exhibited on a billboard on the Magic Roundabout at the weekend. Picture: STUART HARRISON Buy this photo Artist Katie Brightside with her piece of art which was exhibited on a billboard on the Magic Roundabout at the weekend. Picture: STUART HARRISON

THE Magic Roundabout was transformed into a work of art yesterday as a local artist took control of the billboard that towers above the famous landmark.

Kembrey Park allowed Katie Bright, a 34-year-old artist originally from Covingham, to use the board for the weekend to display her latest work, called Tragic Kingdom.

Sunday morning travellers had a surprise as Katie projected an image of herself in character as Katie Brightside at the crack of dawn.

Katie was thrilled to have the opportunity. She said: “It is quite interesting seeing something other than advertising up on the billboard.”

Katie left Swindon when she was 19 to study in London, before spending 10 years working in Australia.

She said: “I came back to London to do my Masters, which was always an ambition of mine. I had to move back to Swindon after my dad passed away, so for the last year I have been living back here with my mum and travelling to London for uni a couple of days a week.

“I was surprised to see that they had moved the old art college from Euclid Street, and I feel like the area has lost that sense of community in the town centre as a result.

“Often when you find artists move out of an area you lose that lustre. You need artists to be working on projects around the area to make it that little more interesting.”

Katie wanted to do something a little bit different, and played on the link between Swindon and Disneyland that was established in 2009.

“That billboard has been there since I was born and it really grabs your attention,” she said.

“While living away from England I realised that Swindon is famous for the Magic Roundabout. Those billboards are about showcasing aspirations and dreams, and the character I have created is modelled on fairytale characters like Snow White and real people like Marilyn Monroe.

“The whole piece is around fairytales, and is based around the fact that Swindon was twinned with Disneyland a few years ago. That became a bit of a joke, in the same way a lot of people use Swindon as the butt of their comedy.

“When I started with the piece of work I wanted it to be about childhood narratives alongside adult sexual society.

“I think people will probably be very confused by the whole thing and why I am doing it, but there is a whole body of reasons why.”

Comments (8)

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9:09am Mon 31 Mar 14

Wildwestener says...

I'm all for arts and arts projects and I like the fact there was some art on the magic roundabout but how about a drop in the arrogance:

"Often when you find artists move out of an area you lose that lustre. You need artists to be working on projects around the area to make it that little more interesting.”

really? I don't remember the Euclid Street college having a lot of actual art on display to the locals. Anyway, just because a college has moved, doesn't mean artists have left the area.

Anyway Katie, thanks for popping back to add a little colour to our lacklustre lives in Swindon, really good of you.
I'm all for arts and arts projects and I like the fact there was some art on the magic roundabout but how about a drop in the arrogance: "Often when you find artists move out of an area you lose that lustre. You need artists to be working on projects around the area to make it that little more interesting.” really? I don't remember the Euclid Street college having a lot of actual art on display to the locals. Anyway, just because a college has moved, doesn't mean artists have left the area. Anyway Katie, thanks for popping back to add a little colour to our lacklustre lives in Swindon, really good of you. Wildwestener
  • Score: 2

1:44pm Mon 31 Mar 14

house on the hill says...

"“When I started with the piece of work I wanted it to be about childhood narratives alongside adult sexual society."

anyone else find that a bit distasteful? And yes typically arrogant like all "performers"
"“When I started with the piece of work I wanted it to be about childhood narratives alongside adult sexual society." anyone else find that a bit distasteful? And yes typically arrogant like all "performers" house on the hill
  • Score: 2

4:49pm Mon 31 Mar 14

madreeves says...

Fair enough. She likes Snow White and Marilyn Monroe. But to just stick a picture of yourself up on a wall doesn't really say anything. It just says "look at me". I can only guess how she personally relates to Snow White or Marilyn Monroe, but those thoughts are best kept to myself - as she has chosen to do. Art is subjective, but there is a line between making a statement and just making a random picture. This to me just looks like a random picture. Anyone could do it. There's nothing to discuss here because - from her final comment - it's obviously very personal and she wishes it to be kept a secret. One would've thought that, if you were going to provide art for the whole town to see, you'd make it mentally accessible and relevant, or at least debateable. There's nothing here to debate on. It's just a purely personal piece of self-indulgence. Right, excuse me whilst I clamber off of this high horse ...
Fair enough. She likes Snow White and Marilyn Monroe. But to just stick a picture of yourself up on a wall doesn't really say anything. It just says "look at me". I can only guess how she personally relates to Snow White or Marilyn Monroe, but those thoughts are best kept to myself - as she has chosen to do. Art is subjective, but there is a line between making a statement and just making a random picture. This to me just looks like a random picture. Anyone could do it. There's nothing to discuss here because - from her final comment - it's obviously very personal and she wishes it to be kept a secret. One would've thought that, if you were going to provide art for the whole town to see, you'd make it mentally accessible and relevant, or at least debateable. There's nothing here to debate on. It's just a purely personal piece of self-indulgence. Right, excuse me whilst I clamber off of this high horse ... madreeves
  • Score: 1

8:57pm Mon 31 Mar 14

timt1964 says...

its not the roundabout that was "transformed" but a billboard near it.the adver is constantly full of nealy not quite "news" stories.why are they bothering promoting the cause of this weirdo?! its not art,its rubbish.
its not the roundabout that was "transformed" but a billboard near it.the adver is constantly full of nealy not quite "news" stories.why are they bothering promoting the cause of this weirdo?! its not art,its rubbish. timt1964
  • Score: -4

9:07pm Mon 31 Mar 14

Tyran66 says...

She should have studied harder or longer, or both.

Its an absolute eyesore and an embarrassment for the town. Even my children thought it was extremely weird. Sure art is subjective but we live in Swindon, not Manhattan - I have just about had my fill of over flamboyant, arrogant "artists" decorating the place with distasteful, inexplicable, nonsensical "art" - and I use the term extremely loosely. Perhaps time for a career change Ms Brightside? Litter picking would be a more constructive use of you time AND it would make Swindon look better, unlike the billboard.
She should have studied harder or longer, or both. Its an absolute eyesore and an embarrassment for the town. Even my children thought it was extremely weird. Sure art is subjective but we live in Swindon, not Manhattan - I have just about had my fill of over flamboyant, arrogant "artists" decorating the place with distasteful, inexplicable, nonsensical "art" - and I use the term extremely loosely. Perhaps time for a career change Ms Brightside? Litter picking would be a more constructive use of you time AND it would make Swindon look better, unlike the billboard. Tyran66
  • Score: 1

9:18pm Mon 31 Mar 14

roberto5 says...

Awful. Load of rubbish.
Awful. Load of rubbish. roberto5
  • Score: -2

9:43pm Mon 31 Mar 14

StephBru1980 says...

Seriously guys, lighten up! I think it's admirable for an artist to put themselves 'out there' in such a vulnerable way. This is a fun, ironic and, judging by the comments thus far, provocative piece of work.
Seriously guys, lighten up! I think it's admirable for an artist to put themselves 'out there' in such a vulnerable way. This is a fun, ironic and, judging by the comments thus far, provocative piece of work. StephBru1980
  • Score: 3

10:30pm Mon 31 Mar 14

Maxwell'79 says...

Another load of rubbish printed in the Adver. I'd rather read fewer articles containing meaningful stories than the constant drivel spouted in some of these articles.

Utter dirge. Both the story and the artwork.
Another load of rubbish printed in the Adver. I'd rather read fewer articles containing meaningful stories than the constant drivel spouted in some of these articles. Utter dirge. Both the story and the artwork. Maxwell'79
  • Score: -2

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