Designed by the contemporary visual artist Marcus Method, the artwork brings to life the festival’s 2021 creative theme ‘Connect’, drawing inspiration from the video conference app Zoom and the vital role it played in connecting humankind during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The south-coast’s annual celebration of arts and culture, Arts by the Sea Festival, has revealed the artwork for its 2021 event. Designed by Sheffield-based artist, Marcus Method, the artwork encapsulates the festival’s artistic theme, which this year is ‘Connect’, drawing inspiration from Zoom video calls that have been so prevalent in connecting families and loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the artwork, the artist has reimagined the view of human profiles, chat windows and the black dividing lines of the conference windows to create Arts by the Sea’s most modern artwork yet.
Arts by the Sea selected Marcus Method for his contemporary style and the vivid colourings that have been key components in previous Arts by the Sea artwork designs. Method’s unique and instantly recognisable style is born from graffiti roots and heavily influenced by the design theories he learnt in his former career as an architectural technologist. Over the years this idea has been expanded upon and continues to evolve as he explores his bold and colourful style. Commissions have led to producing bespoke work for a diverse range of clients including the University of Sheffield, G-Star clothing and leading men’s haircare brand, Slick Gorilla.
On his commission for Arts by the Sea, Marcus Method explained, “When I was contacted by Arts By The Sea, I knew straight away it would be an exciting project. The festival’s theme of ‘Connect’ led me to think about the different ways we have connected throughout the pandemic. I decided it would be fitting for the artwork to be based on how video calls have kept us connected in a time when we have been so physically disconnected.
I started my process by getting together a series of screenshots from video meetings and then based each section of the artwork on a different person, the divides in the artwork representing the chat windows, and the black lines representing a different person in each of the windows. I’m thrilled to be part of an event that inspires and allows everyone to be involved in the arts.”
On working with Marcus Method, Arts by the Sea’s Creative Director, Roxy Robinson (From The Fields / Bluedot) added “Marcus’s work has all the signature playfulness and bright colours that is key to the Arts by the Sea brand. This is a more contemporary and abstract look than anything we’ve had before, which allows us to connect with new discerning audiences, while preserving the key components of bold colour that is so central to the festival that our audiences are used to.”
The Arts by the Sea 2021 ‘Connect’ theme was naturally born out of the major challenges experienced during the pandemic, with regards to maintaining social connections with others. COVID-19 created a newly troubling experience of isolation for some, while compounding a pre-existing epidemic of loneliness for others.
While the programme for the 11th edition of Arts by the Sea is yet to be announced, it will explore the concept of the human being as a fundamentally social creature—a tribal animal—while highlighting the importance of celebration, festivity and connecting with others.
Audiences can expect to witness and participate in another intriguing and unique, carnivalesque celebration of art across many forms. Each year approximately 100,000 descend to Bournemouth for its diverse array of largescale installations, music and performance, showcasing both the local artistic community and internationally acclaimed talent.
To stay tuned on forthcoming announcements from Arts by the Sea 2021, visit www.artsbythesea.co.uk or follow @artsbythesea on social media: #Connect2021 / #artsbythesea