Introducing Hexopolis / 13 December 2014
I am leading a project called HEXOPOLIS. This is an invented term, assembled from ancient Greek:
HEX meaning 6
-OPOLIS meaning city-state, run by its citizens.
Hexopolis is a long-term research and participatory art project about engagement within urban life. Using the hexagon as a framework, the project considers and promotes fresh appreciation of urban living.
It is a development of my artist's book' Charter Square Sheffield Rising' which links the now decaying 1960 Brutalist underpass development with the pro-democracy Chartist movement of 1838.
Charter Square features hexagonal paving and ramps, making it accessible (to a degree - literally) to wheelchair users. I am making the conceptual link between political democracy and physical democracy as expressed through accessible urban public spaces.
I see the hexagon used as an architectural trope to express utopian modernism. However, Charter Square is now crumbling. Consequently over the next year I will be documenting it and other examples of urban hexagons, and undertaking contextual research.
In parallel, I am leading a participatory art project on Hexopolis. I have been commissioned by Bloc Projects (Sheffield) to host an Assembly event in March 2015, which I am using as the platform to engage other artists to develop and host these activities.
Ironically, I am stuck in an open-ended NHS queue for assessment for a powered mobility aid. That’s how it rolls.
Keywords: chartist movement,participatory art,socially engaged art,democracy