Mrs Smith’s ‘hit’ on Plymouth Sundial

The artist Mrs Smith created upholstered fabric covers for the Sundial in Plymouth city centre. Each of the 12 stone plinths surrounding the sundial were adorned with removable padded covers embellished with tassels and bows. The work appeared overnight and lasted for two days before vanishing.

Image courtesy of Plymouth College of Art

Artist: Mrs Smith
Category: Temporary
Date: April 2010 over 4 days
Location: View on our Public Art Map [desktop and tablet; requires Google sign-in]
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Commissioner: Plymouth College of Art
Producers: Hannah Rose, Exhibition Manager, Plymouth College of Art.

Project Description

Mrs Smith developed a partnership with Plymouth College of Art in the lead up to the ‘Material Actions’ exhibition which took place in 2010. The exhibition featured the work of 13 national and local artists and was developed in response to the 2009 Textile Forum South West’s conference, Textile Footprint.

Photograph of people engaging with the artwork on the sundial by Mrs Smith

Image courtesy of Plymouth College of Art

Photograph of two people looking at the Mrs Smith artowkr on the sundial

Image courtesy of Plymouth College of Art

In a press interview Mrs Smith stated “The Sundial is such a lovely spot and so well used as a meeting place, I thought it deserved a little jollying up.”

As with the Sundial project Mrs Smith’s playful installations are motivated by a desire to bring about a bit of cheer to the urban landscape as she states on her website:

“I started to notice things in the street that looked a little forlorn and in definite need of a bit of a boost…So I set to and got myself making nice woolly hats for rusted old railings and jolly outfits for statues that were unloved or just looked a bit chilly…This led on to cushions in bus shelters, curtains in kiosks and all sorts of other lovely things to help brighten up everyone’s day.”

About the Artist

Mrs Smith is a textile graffiti artist who is known for her surprise interventions in the urban landscape. Her works are always delivered incognito, usually overnight, with the aim to bring joy and cheer into mundane, everyday settings. She wants to encourage others to see their environment in a different way by introducing new elements to spaces that usually are passed by without a second glance.

Through its creation Mrs Smith’s work often explores issues of public art and its relationship with urban spaces whilst carrying subtle undertones of a feminist agenda and the way textile art is often perceived as ‘lower’ or ‘domestic’ art compared to more fashionable mediums.