City & Islington College Art Strategy

City and Islington College commissioned Wilkinson Eyre Architects to refurbish and extend its Finsbury Park premises.  The development presented a number of exciting opportunities to commission artists to create site-specific works for the building’s new public areas.

Modus Operandi was commissioned to provide an Environmental Art Plan identifying scope for commissions and proposing procedures for selecting artists. The aim was an art policy that was imaginative and innovative, which harmonised with the architectural approaches and responsed to the aspirations for the new facility.

Following discussions, it was decided to focus on the commissions for the main Atrium and café area.  A Selection Panel representing the College, the architectural design team and other stakeholders oversaw the artists’ selection process, advised by Modus Operandi.  The work of 30 artists was considered, and 12 were subsequently invited to make proposals.  In February 2002 two proposals were selected and realised: Vong Phaophanit and Claire Oboussier’s Pipedream for the Atrium spaces and Kate Blee’s Ceramic Wall for the café area.