The Art of Common Space, one of the major projects produced by Haring Woods at Gunpowder Park began as an interdisciplinary workshop co-curated by Woods and international artist and theatre director Robert Wilson at Wilson’s Watermill Center in Long Island, New York, in July 2005. The following summer, 17 individuals from 7 countries – all leading creative practitioners working in the arts and sciences came together for the first time in Gunpowder Park to respond to the landscape as source material for a new work. Co-curated by Woods and Wilson and produced by the Gunpowder Park team, these workshops kickstarted the process which developed into The Art of Common Space, a five year programme of commissions, events and an international online network which aimed to generate new thinking and influence the development of our common spaces through creative exploration.
A selection of projects around the world provided an online resource of best practice in the public realm. These pages are no longer available.
Energy Cafe by Amy Plant and Ella Gibbs (Pilot Publishing)
Being in Common by Proboscis
Siphonophora by Rob Davis and Usman Haque
Drawing on the historic term 'the commons', The Art of Common Space is an evolving initiative that looks at the basic premise of 'public' space and questions the current existence of a space which we can call 'common' - an essential space that through its use, facilitates the celebration and bringing together of individuals from the diverse cultures that constitute our modern society.
The Art of Common Space provided unique opportunities for artists, creative professionals and public realm specialists to explore new ideas for creative public realm development by considering the use and reality of our common and public spaces, as both physical and social sites.
The first phase of the programme between 2008 and 2009 was delivered through four main strands: Dialogues, Experience, Mapping and Research & Development. The programme commissioned new work by artists Simon Faithfull, Rob Davis and Usman Haque, Pilot Publishing and Proboscis to explore the common space in our 21st Century multicultural society through experimental site specific projects at Gunpowder Park; and in collaboration with New York based organisations CivWorld and Demos, The Art of Common Space has produced a series of dialogues with international cultural, political and religious leaders.