Wednesday, 21 March 2012

jeremy deller

 bat house
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Jeremy Deller: Bat house project

The RSA Arts & Ecology Centre and The Berkeley Bat House
Art meets conservation in a London Wetlands Centre based design project
"In Texas some bat lovers have excavated caves and built towers on their land to encourage bat settlement. I'm interested in initiating a project suitable for bats in London. A number of partners have joined me this year to launch an open competition to design a bat house to give a much-needed year-round habitat to bats in the Southwest London area. There is great pressure on bat numbers in London as buildings get redeveloped and home improvements leave little space for bats to live in. In this structure the bats are our client and we hope to be able to accommodate different species that have different housing needs, the raising of a family, hibernation etc."
So said artist Jeremy Deller when the Bat House Project was launched in 2007, a competition to create a unique habitat for London's bats. Although Britain's 16 species of bat are protected by law, their numbers are declining.
Creating his prize-winning 2003 film Memory Bucket, Deller had come across the remarkable Texas caves (still from Memory Bucket pictured in slideshow above). His passion for the animal resulted in this collabortion between Arts Council England, the Bat Conservation Trust, the Greater London Authority, plusequals, and the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust.
The project highlights the potential for architects, builders, home-owners and conservationists to work together to produce wildlife-friendly building design. It connects the worlds of art and ecology to encourage public engagement with ecology issues. The Project builds on the Mayor of London's policies to raise awareness of urban biodiversity and to support the survival of London’s ten bat species.
In October 2007 the competition winners were announced; Jorgen Tandberg and Yo Murata, students of the Architectural Association claimed first prize with a winning design which will be built at the WWT London Wetlands Centre in Barnes, in South West London. Their plan was chosen by expert judges from over 200 international entries to a competition devised by Jeremy Deller.The project is complete after generous support from Berkeley Homes
The Berkeley Bat House was opened on 14 September 2009, the date marking the centenary of the birth of the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust's founder, Sir Peter Scott.  
Jeremy Deller commented: “I'm very happy that these amazing creatures have such a stunning and practical place to live in. It makes me wish I was one of them!”

RSA Head of Arts, Michaela Crimmin, said: “Jeremy Deller is one of the world’s leading artists. Central to his work is collaboration. This project is exemplary in bringing together a diverse group of organisations to demonstrate how creativity, conservation interests and construction expertise can combine to draw attention to sustainability issues that challenge us all and, through co-operation, begin to address them.”

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