21st Century super Shrines
21st Century super Shrines is an exciting programme managed by Super Culture as part of the four-year long High Streets Heritage Action Zones’ Cultural Programme, funded by Historic England, in partnership with Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
This pioneering heritage project, launched in May 2021 and wrapping up in March 2024, is designed to inject vibrancy and colour into Weston’s high street and shine a spotlight on the local community in a number of creative events, including a new window exhibition and YouTube series.
Throughout the project, a series of innovative contemporary ‘shrines’ are animating the high street from permanent art installations to live arts experiences that capture the vitality and values of the local community. Creatively steering the project is lead artist Megan Clark-Bagnall in partnership with guest artists, emerging artists and Weston residents and a consortium of 11 organisations led by Super Culture.
The first project which now sits resplendently at the head of the high street is SUPER WONDER SHRINE, a vibrant artwork and contemporary bandstand rolled into one, created by internationally acclaimed public realm artist Morag Myerscough in partnership with the local community. Over 100 people of all ages supported the design and fabrication of SUPER WONDER SHRINE and it has become a popular meeting spot, lingering place and distinctive site for live arts happenings that keep the surprises rolling in the high street.
Scroll to the bottom of this page for even more information on SUPER WONDER SHRINE, including busking guidance.
Tom Marshman - Shrine 2
Tom Marshman is a nationally acclaimed performance artist who makes work that celebrates the voices of the outsider, notably from the LGBTQ+ community.
To coincide with Weston Pride, Tom crafted ‘Queer Tales of Weston’, an alternative audio, walking tour of central Weston, with a little bit of help from members of the town’s Queer community. The story gathering process was initiated at a Tom’s Tea-party event hosted by Pride Bar, with a rainbow coloured tea cosy sitting centre stage.
Tom lead an inaugural, live version of the Queer Tales of Weston tour on Saturday 2 July 2022 to brilliant feedback. The tour can still be followed by any listener on their own device via Soundcloud and is also accessible through a QR code on postcards distributed throughout the town, which are beautifully illustrated by local artist, Shruti Bhoyar. See below. The trail has featured several times on BBC Radio Bristol. ‘Queer Tales of Weston’ is edited and produced by Bernie Hodges.
Click HERE to listen to ‘Queer Tales of Weston: An Audio Tour with Tom Marshman’
Brothers Across the Decades – Performance
On Sunday 3 July Weston’s iconic Grand Atlantic Hotel provided an excellent setting for Tom’s performance of Brothers Across the Decades, a newly commissioned play that weaved together Tom’s own experience of being a performing arts BTEC student at Weston College with the memories and stories of other people who experienced Weston in the early 90s. There was an excellent atmosphere at the Grand Atlantic performance followed by a lively and honest chat over Tea with Tom at the end of the performance, facilitated by lead artist Megan Clark-Bagnall. The performance attracted homegrown and Bristol based audiences. The play has enjoyed a subsequent outing to London’s Chelsea Theatre, and in 2023 a national Seaside Tour, including a second date in Weston-super-Mare.
Read Stagetalk Magazine’s review of Brothers Across the Decades HERE
ChipChat – Episode 3
Tom and Weston based performance maker Matt Fleming chat to ChipAdvisor, Megan Clark-Bagnall, about their training at Weston College and being QUEER HERE in the super mare during the 1990’s and in present day.
Chila Kumari Singh Burman - Shrine 3
A vibrant new commission from internationally acclaimed artist Chila Kumari Singh Burman celebrates the humble pigeon, and all that is brilliant about so many different cultural communities now calling Weston their home. The neon artwork shines an iridescent spotlight on the virtues of this extraordinary global street bird whose heroic story includes wartime messenger, allotment companion and peace-giver. Find out more here.
‘Pigeon’ was on display at The Grand Pier during GLOW and is now perched in the window of Weston’s newest theatre, Front Room, at Central Walk.
Describing herself as a ‘Punjabi Liverpudlian’, Chila’s vivacious style fuses her Indian roots with popular culture, exemplified in her groundbreaking ‘Remembering a Brave New World’, which lit up hearts, minds and the facade of TATE BRITAIN at the height of the pandemic in 2020.
CHIP CHAT is Super Culture’s first YouTube series, and the only show that puts the chips into the chats.
CHIP CHAT is a new YouTube series where professional artists, emerging artists and wider residents of Weston meet up over chips to chat culture and heritage. Part of ‘21st Century super Shrines’, CHIP CHAT puts local voices firmly and deliciously at the heart of cultural and creative developments in the town. Here’s a taster of all 4 episodes so far:
Another ‘Great British Takeaway’, Episode 1 sees internationally acclaimed public realm artist Morag Myerscough shaking on some salt, vinegar ‘n’ plenty of colour to Big Lamp Corner, with exuberant artist interviewer Megan Clark-Bagnall. Megan also chats to local Artist and Muralist Shruti Ashish in our very own Front Room!
Discover what public art Morag is cooking up for Weston High Street, and how she rates the chips being cooked up for her.
In Episode 2, ChipAdvisor Megan is joined by artist, poet and facilitator Shagufta K Iqbal, and Weston’s very own poet and producer Sophie Shepherd. They chat about the current creative scene in Weston and what the future could hold, depending on the choices we make today. Hear more about current creative happenings and projects on the high street such as Tomorrow’s Voices, Grow Feral and the uprising that is Weston Artspace.
Episode 3 ‘Queer Here’ is dedicated to Shrine 2, when nationally acclaimed queer artist Tom Marshman and Weston based performance maker Matt Fleming ChipChat to Megan. They talk about their training at Weston College and being QUEER HERE in the super mare during the 1990’s and in present day.
In Episode 4, WOWmen of Weston, Meg chats to soical artist, Bev G Star, and creative artist, Kelly Lewis, discussing female-led creative compassion in Weston. Featuring a cameo from Lilly and filmed at Weston Beach Cafe on the seafront.
All Episodes are available on our youtube ‘ChipChat’ playlist HERE
Chip Chat goes audio! Take a listen to the first podcast episode of Chip Chat.
Meg chats with international artist Chila Kumari Singh Burman, Director of Glow Paula Birtwistle, actor and performance maker Jack Stringer and Year 6 Students at Walliscote Primary School about what lights them up in their home of Weston-super-Mare.
Produced by Bernie Hodges, this episode was recorded at Atlantic Fish Bar!
Sovereign Centre Exhibition
As part of the creative collaboration at the centre of the campaign, a vibrant window display has been showcased at different Sovereign Centre locations, returning for its latest iteration in January 2024. The exhibition charts the development of the artworks at the centre of ‘21st Century super Shrines’, showcasing the heritage project’s creative activities and engagement work with the local community, including online and in person workshops covering topics from patterns to pets.
The display is created by community artists Bev G Star, Humans of Weston, and Kelly Lewis who is a creative crafter based in Worle and includes the latest project information, artwork and workshop opportunities.
Fiona Matthews, creative director at Super Culture said: “Since the project was launched, we have been working with a team of brilliant local artists to document the process and share local people’s knowledge, ideas and values about Weston as the experience unfolds – the role of pets and animals on the high street (past and present) is proving a particularly winning topic!”
‘Round Here: Music & Circus was presented on 16 July 2022 at the head of the high street as part of ‘Round Here – a new Historic England and Live Music Now project celebrating high street heritage and pride of place through unique music collaborations in the community.
This was a true musical celebration, kicking off with the premiere of co-created, community song inspired by Weston-super-Mare high street and followed by a fusion of local and international music, with have-a-go-at-circus workshops taking place with Circomedia through the afternoon.
Co-created by professional musician Tara Baggott, local schoolchildren and residential care home residents, the public premiere of the piece was enjoyed by many at Big Lamp Corner – where the new bandstand designed by Morag Myerscough and the community launches soon. For now, we have commissioned a lovely bright banner from Shruti Bhoyar which will also act as a backdrop to further musical events around the town this Summer.
Over two months, Tara Baggott, a special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) music specialist, led weekly Live Music Now sessions in Weston with students from Baytree School and Herons’ Moor Academy and residents at Acer House Care Home to co-create a unique musical composition for the town. Tara was supported by young emerging musician William Crawford, who lives in Weston and attended West haven School and Weston College.
Alongside the premier were appearances by jazz swing duo Hopkins & Oliver and singer-songwriter Holly Carter. French brass band, Super Panela added an international flavour to the day, with their upbeat afro-colombian sounds. Plus there was an afternoon of family entertainment from with circus antics from Circomedia.
This short film that illustrates the day was made by Nick Sutton, with thanks. And you can see all films from the ‘Round Here series, featuring communities in 6 towns and cities across the country on Historic England’s website.
During our first year of the 21st Century Super Shrines project, we are celebrating your PETS!!
Through crafting and conversations with Westonians, Megan Clark-Bagnall recently identified three things beginning with P that make Weston’s High Street Powerful!!
They are, the sight of your Pets in town, the different Places and green spaces Weston has to offer the high street and of course the People. Year one is all about your Pets and celebrating ALL creatures great and small that visit and frequent our pet heavy high streets. Join super special artist Carson Parkin-Fairley (who knows a thing or two about making icons out of those we admire) in this crafty online tutorial. Carson will show you how to make your very own pet icon, inspired by her amazing framed icon of Elvis the dog, which she has lovingly created for this year’s national artist on the super shrines project… Morag Myserscough!!
Super Wonder Shrine
SUPER WONDER SHRINE is the work of internationally acclaimed public realm artist Morag Myerscough and the community of Weston. The design captures the energy and sentiments of the town, shining out energy (and a love of dogs!) into the high street. SUPER WONDER SHRINE has been co-created and painted by Morag and a cross-generational group of over 100 local residents and students, with particular thanks due to local artisan joiner Simon Birtwistle, Shelley Bowers, Bev G Star, Nina Thomas-Bennett, Paige Bailiss, Jasmine Thompson, Shruti Bhoyar, Victoria Houselander-Cook and the students of Weston College.
This artwork is part of ‘21st Century super Shrines’, a pioneering heritage project launched in May 2021 that is managed by Super Culture. It is part of a four-year High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) cultural programme, funded by Historic England, in partnership with Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The programme, steered by social maker Megan Clark-Bagnall, empowers local communities as creative agents of change at the heart of a high street narrative of community renewal and ownership. Inspired and supported by professional artists, local communities are creating a series of innovative and contemporary shrines that animate the environment and determine a new sense of worth on the high street.
This guidance is for anyone who may use the ‘Super Wonder Shrine’ bandstand for the purposes of busking and/or street performance including music, theatre, poetry and other public speaking.
Busking can add colour and vibrancy to our public spaces and can provide enjoyment for shoppers, residents and visitors.
Busking is legal on public land and does not require a licence in North Somerset. But there are requirements and legislation you will need to be aware of, and adhere to. As with all use of public space, there is the expectation that everyone will act reasonably in sharing the space with everyone.
To ensure the positive use of the bandstand, Super Culture has produced this guidance that sets out standards for good practice that will ensure safe use and enjoyment of the bandstand.
1. Noise – be mindful of the volume you are playing at and the context you are playing in. Music or other sound should not be so loud that it can be plainly heard at a distance of 40m. Your volume should be just above the ambient street noise without being intrusive. Causing a statutory noise nuisance, for example by using loud amplification or loud acoustic instruments, may result in prosecution under the Environmental Protection Act. 1990.
2. Noise – performers should reduce the volume if requested to do so as far as is reasonable.
3. If you are approached by anyone to discuss any issue please be courteous. Similarly we ask members of the public to wait for a gap in the performance before approaching a performer.
4. Performing copyrighted music – Buskers should hold a Performing Rights Society (PRS) music licence in order to lawfully play copyright music in public. The licence gives legal permission to play copyright music for prolonged periods of time. Failure or refusal to obtain a PRS licence may lead the copyright owner to take civil action or copyright infringement in the courts.
5. Performers should not perform for longer than one hour on the bandstand, and should not perform again (or within 50m of it) for three hours.
6. Performers should not start performing before 9am or after 7pm
7. Performers should not obstruct free passage of pedestrians or vehicles on the highway (including pavements and pedestrianised areas), or allow an audience to do so. Access to shops, cycle-stands and bus-stops should be kept clear. If your performance obstructs the highway, or a large crowd gathers that obstructs the highway you may risk committing an offence under the Highway’s Act, 1980.
8. Performers should not actively collect money using signage or any other means. However, it is permissible to have a receptacle, such as a music case or box for the acceptance of donations from the public.
9. No merchandise should be sold unless in possession of a street traders license. You may be committing an offence under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 if you do not. https://www.n-somerset.gov.uk/business/licences-permits
10. You can display CDs for people to take but it must be clear that any donations received for a CD is made on a voluntary basis so that the product or service is an extension of the busking act itself and people are not obliged to make any contribution. For example, in some circumstances a member of the public may request a CD without making a donation. This should be made clear with an appropriate sign. Suggested wording could be: ‘In order to comply with street trading legislation these CDs are not being offered for sale, any contribution you make is voluntary and at your discretion.’
11. Performers should not begin performance on the bandstand if there is another entertainer already performing within 50 metres.
12. Performers should not perform in a manner that could be considered to be dangerous and/or inappropriate and must not be dressed or conduct themselves in a manner that is likely to cause alarm, distress or offence to members of the public.
13. Public Safety – Everyone who performs in the street has a responsibility to do so safely and should consider whether they should have a risk assessment and public liability cover. We recommend that all performers have suitable Public Liability Insurance. This is offered by insurance brokers or is included as part of membership of the MU and Equity, information is available on their websites.
14. This is a public space for all to enjoy – please help contribute to keeping the area clean and tidy when using the bandstand.
Dealing with issues
If a busker is causing nuisance with noise from amplified music or other sound, the council has the power to take action. The Police also have powers where they consider a public nuisance or obstruction is being caused.
All local buskers and street performers using the bandstand, should be aware of these guidelines and should adhere to them. If you are performing, and are approached by anyone to discuss any issue please be courteous. Similarly we ask members of the public to wait for a gap in the performance before approaching a performer.
Should you feel that a performer is not complying with these guidelines, here are some suggested methods of resolving conflict:
● If it is safe and practical you could approach the busker directly. Please wait for a suitable interval in their activity, politely state what your issue is and attempt to come to a fair and amicable compromise. Feel free to draw their attention to this guidance.
● Alert a Street Warden who will attempt to resolve the situation.
● If a compromise cannot be reached then please call 01934 888 802 or email email@example.com.
● Please contact Super Culture on firstname.lastname@example.org to report the issue.
There will be occasions when Super Culture present their own programming on the bandstand – at these times it will not be possible for buskers/street performers to use the bandstand. Such curated events will be pre-promoted via superculture.org.uk and on socials @superculturewsm
Super Culture accept no responsibility for any busking or performance that takes place on the bandstand that we do not directly manage. People enter and use the bandstand at their own risk. Super Culture do not accept any liability for any injury or loss incurred as a result of entering and/or using the bandstand.
What people say:
“I have enjoyed every moment of this project. Weston-super-Mare community are incredible and work so closely together, with a true sense of belonging, fun and joy, I am grateful to have been invited in and to be able to co-create the ’SUPER WONDER SHRINE’ with such an amazing group of humans.” Morag Myerscough, artist
“Truly designed by an inter generational & pet appreciating group of local participants, the bandstand is a real triumph of joy for all of Weston to enjoy!” Megan Clark-Bagnall, artist and social maker
“I have found myself over the build falling for the bandstand as it has progressed. It has been on many levels a joy to behold and I’m surprised at my own affection that has grown towards it. It has revealed a dynamic quality that I didn’t realise it possessed in the beginning. I imagine when it is presented to Weston that I will bursting with pride like a parent at sports day.” Simon Birtwistle, artisan joiner
“I’m so grateful to have been part of building, painting, producing and installing it.” Shelley Jane, local creative
“Having the opportunity to be included as an artist in the 21st Century Super Shrines project enabled me to use my creativity to represent my community; helping people grow their imagination and make things happen…. The bandstand has taken us on a wonderful journey of colour and it has been a joy to be a part if it.” Bev G Star, local artist
“Having the opportunity to take part in this project was so exciting and we are beyond grateful for the invitation from Culture Weston to get involved. The project was inspiring from the initial workshops to creation, every step was interesting and inclusive. Our learners have benefited so much from this project and watching their confidence and creativity develop was brilliant – I’ve had so many incredible messages from learners saying how proud they are. Morag and Bev have inspired our students and they see the possibilities of working within our local creative industry more than ever.’ Victoria Houselander-Cook, Lecturer in Art, Design and Communication, UCW
More information is here.