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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

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