Displacement/ Extraction

@ Archimedia - Knowle West Media Centre

Antony Lyons
Project Listhttp://www.antonylyons.net


The site is situated within the streetscape. The installation, of ten vitreous enamel panels (and ‘peep-hole’ images), is accompanied by printed works, forming a commentary on co-existing landscape layers and connections.


Twenty three streets around Archimedia, the new media centre in Knowle West, are named after places in Ireland. On one level, the project is an exploration of this curious collection of street names - their histories and inherent meanings, as well the visual and material aspects of the existing street signs. A series of vitreous enamel panels on the site railings is used to focus attention on these associations.

The concept of ‘displacement’ refers to something that has been moved in relation to an ‘origin’ or previous position; I’m interested in this separation, but also the desire to appropriate something that is of a different, distant, place. These place names are, in that sense, displaced. They are/were imprinted on an alien landscape. The project therefore touches on the question of what ingredients go to make up a ‘place’. As with a person, the naming is important; so too is the appearance, or ‘scenery’. The essence of a scene or landscape has traditionally been framed, packaged and transmitted via picture-postcards. In Knowle West, I use classic 1970’s postcards from Ireland to further enhance the linkages (which possibly had their origin in the mind of an inter-war city planner). The physical materials (local vernacular building materials etc) of the sites - in Knowle West and Ireland - are also included in these explorations.

In another sense there is a reference - in the word ‘displacement’ -  to the moving/removal, in the 1930’s, of the community from Bristol’s inner city areas to the then new suburb of Filwood Park (aka Knowle West).


Every place has an inherent ‘genius loci’ or ‘spirit of the place’ which is deep rooted and changes but slowly. In this project, I am looking at changes in this notion of ‘place’ - especially the effect of the rapid transformation from a farmed landscape to a street-scape. Map extracts and photographic images are used to reveal this layering, which exists in memory as well as in the physical evidence. Landscape therefore becomes something relating to both the eye and the mind. In exploring the layers of change and loss, there is a passing glance at what has also been changed and lost in the ‘source’ locations (in Ireland) over the past century. What can be witnessed (with the embrace of the new) is a loss of contact - with the fundamental and elemental landscape of rock, soil, vegetation, valley, stream, spring....

Within this theme of ‘transformation’ the thought occurs that, in this case, the artwork (in durable vitreous enamel) may well outlive the sources - the streetscapes. The snapshots in time capture street signage, walls and vegetation which no doubt will be largely replaced or remodelled over the the coming decades


"I like them because it brings the whole estate to KWMC, and because it makes me think of holidays in Ireland...and how I plan to have more!"

Michaela Macrae Simpson

Building & Operation Manager, Knowle West Media Centre

"A particular place in the land is never, for an oral culture, just a passive or inert setting for the human events that occur there. It is an active participant in those occurrences. Indeed, by virtue of its underlying and enveloping presence, the place may even be felt to be the source, the primary power that expresses itself through the various events that unfold there."

The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World. David Abram. 1996.

"Upon pronouncing, or hearing, such a (place) name, Apache persons straightaway feel themselves in the presence of that place; hence, when reciting a series of place-names, the Apache experience themselves "traveling in their minds" It would seem that the spoken place-names, by their precision, effect a direct sensorial bond between Apache persons and particular places.....Place-names, that is, seem to take their particular power and magic from the actual places that they designate"

The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World. David Abram. 1996.

Antony Lyons - Projectshttp://www.antonylyons.net