Park and Slide: artist to transform Bristol into commuter waterpark
By Don Ferguson on Sunday, March 16, 2014
For a single day in early May, reluctant commuters in Brizzle can breathe a sigh of relief and enjoy a respite from gridlocked traffic, sweaty armpits or indeed face or a crush on the bus – as local artist Luke Jerram looks set to install a giant water slide in heart of the city.
The Park and Slide is being prepared to be installed across the entire length of Park Street in the city centre on the 4 May 2014, in line with Bristol’s Make Sundays Special initiative. This council run social enterprise is all about creating a sense of community engagement for city dwellers and builds on the success of similar schemes in Bordeaux and Bogota “but with a very special Bristol flavour.”
Although only in-situ for a single day, the modern-art marketing spiel around the whole thing is that it is aimed at asking difficult conceptual questions around old-fashioned urban planning, offering a cost-effective substitute to the overpriced infrastructure already in place. Not so sure that is the case to be honest as the artist in question seems hell bent on wacky self-promotion, wrapped up in socially responsible enterprise, having previously installed pianos in NYC and London streets, as well as creating the biggest solar powered light fixture in the world.
Regardless of the reasoning or rational, the promotional side of things already seems to be working having secured coverage across the nationals in the likes of The Metro, BBC News and The Mail Online – as well as gaining regional support from Bristolian cultural bloggers:
“If last year was all about Gromits on every street corner, this year in Bristol might be remembered for one giant piece of playful art on Park Street as Luke Jerram hopes to install a giant water slide that the public can ride from the top of the road to the bottom. “ Bristol Culture
“The giant water-slide will be yet another unique use of Bristol’s most versatile hill having previously seen uphill electric bike races, downhill Red Bull soapbox derby races and featured in the opening scene of Skins.” #aLittleBristol
For more info on this wet and wild piece of fabricated socially-responsible art, head to www.bristolslide.com.