Major art coming to Corn Exchange

IPSWICH is set to host one of its biggest ever public art installations when two sides of the historic Corn Exchange will be covered with a specially commissioned artwork.

IPSWICH is set to host one of its biggest ever public art installations when two sides of the historic Corn Exchange will be covered with a specially commissioned artwork.

Ipswich Council is in the process of selecting an artist who will be given the task of creating a huge piece capable of covering the exterior of the building when a £1million refurbishment project gets under way.

The building, which is located to the rear of the Town Hall facing King Street, is set to be shrouded in scaffolding during the work and the council wants to avoid the project becoming an unsightly blight on one of the most visited locations in the town centre.

A short list of artists was drawn up and earlier this week they delivered presentations to a panel in the hope of having their work selected.

Judy Terry, the borough councillor with responsibility for culture and leisure, said similar artworks had been created in other towns and had been well received by the public.

“We've chosen to do it because it's a town centre location and the Town Hall next door is a centre for the arts which houses the Town Hall Galleries.

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“It's a very prominent building and it would have to be a piece of artwork that reflects the vibrancy of Ipswich.

“I would hope that people would like to see something bright and innovative that reflects Ipswich as an important county town.”

The cost of the project - labelled the 'Wrapping of the Corn Exchange' - is likely to depend on the final piece of art chosen but it is likely to cost about £15,000.

The Wrapping of the Corn Exchange will be the first project of its kind for Ipswich but similar schemes have been done elsewhere, including the wrapping of Norwich Castle during a refurbishment project in 1997.

More than £900,000 is being spent on cleaning the façade and roof of the Corn Exchange, which is one of the town's most popular venues for staging music events and hosting large functions.

The work will get under way later this month and will continue until the winter. Another £137,000 is being spent on repairs to the dome on the roof of the adjacent Town Hall building.

The council hopes the artwork will be in place by late June and will remain in place for six months.

Do you think the art project is a good idea? What would you like to see printed on the Corn Exchange 'wrapping'? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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