Emma Edmondson and Lu Williams' piece, titled What makes good public art? can be viewed here and on Big Screen Southend at Focal Point Gallery from 25 October to 21 November daily from 9am to 11am and 5pm to 6pm.
Lu Williams and Emma Edmonson are artists who live and work in Southend. As levelling up plans are devised by government and private interests, the cultural sector in the town is getting more attention. Conversations between artists and those within the private and public sector are forming, sometimes fruitful, sometimes clumsy, sometimes abrasive. Many people struggle to understand what artists actually do and what they can bring to a community.
What is the value of artists? Who is deciding this value? How do these conversations change local culture in Southend?
In June 2021, Edmondson and Williams hosted ‘The Southend Salty Pub Quiz’, compiling their experience of public art projects, proposals, pokes and prods from councillors, consultants and commissioners. They invited the public and those with institutional power to take part and this artwork is made from their answers.