In summer 2018 design duo NEON (Mark Nixon and Viliina Koivisto) were in residency in Sleaford as part of the Ridges & Furrows Arts and Heritage Trail.
NEON are a design practice that explores different ways to transform the environment with temporary installations, that usually respond to the site and/or the local community. The artists are passionate about creating places, spaces and objects that enliven everyday experiences.
In Sleaford the artists worked from The National Centre of Craft & Design, which used to be a seed warehouse. Using this history as their starting point, NEON began looking at seeds under the microscope, and wildflower seeds in particular. In the early summer, the duo invited local people to make their mark along the Sleaford section of the Ridges & Furrows Trail by creating ‘seed bombs’ with wild flowers. Read more about the Seed bombing here.
The Main Gallery in The National Centre for Craft & Design (NCCD) was transformed into a design studio in July when NEON took over as Designers in Residence and invited visitors to come and be part of the In the Studio exhibition. NEON have used the gallery as a test-bed to cultivate ideas to develop a new artwork for Sleaford.
Visitors to the gallery were asked to consider where the artwork could go, what it could look like, as well as being given the opportunity to design their own artworks and visualise Navigation Yard (outside NCCD) as a sculpture park.
Inspired by the colours and structures of magnified seeds, NEON designed a new temporary artwork for Sleaford. Visitors to NCCD had the opportunity to make an element of the new artwork, creating green and yellow fabric ‘cones’. The components were bought together ‘en masse’ to create the final collaborative piece of temporary artwork, which was launched at a special ‘Block Party’ event in Navigation Yard, Sleaford in Ocotober 2018.