Luke Jerram, the artist behind Park and Slide, was a resident at the Pervasive Media Studio
An inventor, researcher and amateur scientist as well as an artist, Luke’s thrillingly unique multidisciplinary practice involves sculptures, installations, live art projects and gifts.
Our long and fertile relationship with him began back in 2006, when he was awarded our Clark Digital Arts Bursary. The resulting project was The Dream Director, an interactive installation that used music and ambient sound to direct the contents of participants' dreams as they slept in a series of pods. After its premiere at Watershed it went on to tour the UK.
"I just can't imagine Bristol without it (Watershed) to be honest… Watershed takes an interest in each person's creative journey. They are enthusiastic and open-minded – and, crucially, not too hung up on the format of artworks. If an artist isn't quite sure what their piece is going to look like, or what technology it's going to use, Watershed see that as no problem. They are open to ideas and receptive to enthusiasm." - Luke Jerram
Continuing the sleep theme, Luke's artwork Sky Orchestra began right here in Bristol, a city also famous, of course, for its hot air balloons. By attaching speakers to balloons, which were launched while people slept, Luke created a vast surround sound experience and soundtrack to Bristol's dreams.
Watershed commissioned and produced a website and an app for Sky Orchestra's 2011 performance over London (which took place to mark a year to go before the 2012 Olympic Games), and both platforms continue to be used today. Watch a magical film capturing something of its ethereal beauty here:
You just might be very familiar indeed with one of Luke’s smaller artworks on Temple Meads station. Ever spotted a little girl standing alone on Platform 3. That's Luke's pixelated sculpture Maya, a portrait of his then-seven-year-old daughter, which we commissioned as part of the Bristol Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone in 2013.
Maya proved so popular that she became slightly wobbly due to continuous hugging. The artwork has recently been rebolted to the ground and continues to enamour.
"It's a strange sight to see this pixelated creature made from small cubes; as much beguiling as mesmerising. I hated to leave her" – Joanna Papageorgiou on Maya
Look out for more of Luke’s magic later this year, when he will be collaborating with the National Trust to create beautiful Ghost Ships for an outdoor art installation in Leigh Woods. From April visitors can experience 'Withdrawn' an unexpected encounter with a flotilla of abandoned fishing boats installed in the depths of the woodland.