Moda reveals artist line up for public art strategy at Moda Hove Central

Ahead of the Moda Hove Central multigenerational Build to Rent neighbourhood launch, Moda Living has revealed its artist line-up for its £450,000 public art strategy.

Moda Living's line-up of artists for its public art strategy at Moda Hove Central | BTR News
Moda Living's line-up of artists for its public art strategy at Moda Hove Central.

Investor, developer and operator – Moda Living – has revealed the artists involved in its ambitious £450,000 public art strategy for the Hove area, created in collaboration with Brighton and Hove City Council and Sussex-based designer and artist Richard Wolfströme. 

As Moda prepares for the launch of its newest 824-home multigenerational Build to Rent neighbourhood – Moda Hove Central, the operator has committed £10m to community projects and public realm enhancements which will benefit the local community. The art strategy will shape the look and feel of this, establishing an identity for the new space that aims to celebrate the area’s rich history and engages with its community.

Four projects will sit in the new neighbourhood that will not only be open to Moda residents but the wider Brighton and Hove community. The approach supports the operator’s ongoing commitment to creating inclusive spaces that engage with communities, and will see each of the artists working closely with residents and community groups to help shape the new art arriving on their doorsteps. 

Over 60% of the 8.8-acre site will be turned into public spaces, including landscaped gardens and a large square for the wider community to enjoy.

“We are committed to making Moda, Hove Central a place where the whole community can come together and enjoy spending time in beautiful surroundings. Our public art strategy is a key part of this, ensuring that our residents, local artists and the wider community collaborate to help define this vibrant new neighbourhood, while funding major art installations such as the Flight of the Langoustine which was recently inaugurated by the Mayor of Brighton and Hove. I’ve been so impressed by the quality and creativity of the artists’ submissions, and I can’t wait to see the finished pieces come to life.”

James Blakey, Planning Director, Moda Group

The line-up follows a public expression of interest for artists and a carefully considered selection process led by Moda, Richard Wolfströme, the City Council and members of the existing community. Each of the artists were chosen based not only on how their work looked independently, but how well their proposed pieces worked together – ensuring that a sense of continuity and harmony will flow throughout the space.

Amongst those included Adam Nathaniel Furman who created a central sculpture in the heart of the neighbourhood. Adam is a British artist, designer, writer and academic, with a focus on spatial design and public artworks. His submission was chosen to be the featured sculpture in Moda Hove Central’s Hub Square, an open space that will act as the centrepiece of the public realm.

This space will experience a high volume of footfall once opened, and feature seating that encourages visitors to gather and engage with the art. Adam’s previous work is instantly recognisable thanks to its trademark bright colours and bold patterns. His new piece will be his largest piece of single work of this scale.

Also, acclaimed stonemasons George Griffiths and Edgar Ward will come together to create a unique ‘trail’ of public art along the scheme’s main boulevard. Featuring 15-20 pieces of art, the pair will use the trail to shine a spotlight on a historic craft while referencing the city’s industrial heritage.

George and Edgar will work with the local community in a hands-on way to determine the final pieces – with their mantra being ‘the best ideas emerge through making’. The pair will also work with local schools in the area to establish a small group of students with an interest in the arts that they will mentor, exposing them to the many fulfilling careers that can be had in the UK’s creative sector. 

“Moda’s commitment to supporting an ambitious programme of public art on site and beyond is a leading example of how new development can successfully incorporate art and creative partnerships within its plans. These new commissions offer exciting opportunities for collaboration between residents and artists and support our ambition for Brighton to be the UK’s leading city for beautiful sustainable public art and public realm, with inclusivity at the heart of this work.”

Marina Norris, Brighton & Hove City Council

Internationally renowned master sculptor Casto Solano will create two ‘twin’ sculptural gateway designs located at the entrance to Moda Hove Central. His bespoke final pieces will sit in a focal point of the development, visible to residents as well as passing traffic and footfall. As a Spanish artist, Casto’s involvement in the project reinforces the importance of Brighton & Hove as a destination for art in the wider context of Europe. 

Finally, Kerry Lemon is a Brighton based artist with over 15 years’ experience creating artworks with and for communities. She will become Moda Hove Central’s first artist in residence – a role which will begin once new residents have moved into the development. Kerry will work with the new residents over a prolonged period to develop artworks for the building’s boundary wall.

Residents of the scheme will act as co-designers in Kerry’s project, with the aim being to create a dynamic series of original designs along the southern boundary that bring a sense of residential ownership.

“I’ve read over the art strategy and I’m excited to see it put into action. I really want local residents to feel the positive impact of this money and to notice improvements as they walk around our beautiful area.”

Peter Kyle, MP, Brighton & Hove

Each of the selected artists will engage with the community as part of their project via workshops, meetings and public gatherings. The finished product will be a vibrant and accessible space filled with contemporary visual arts for communities and visitors to enjoy.

The project for Moda Hove Central joins the operator’s other successful art ventures over the years. When progress on the new development began in 2021, so too did a series of 42-metre-long murals along the building site on Sackville Road. The first of three commissions were unveiled in June 2022 by local artist Tom Diamantopoulo, inspired by Hove Park and the theme of community regeneration.

Hove-based artist Kirsti Davidson followed later in the year, which portrayed local landmarks including the Big Beach Cafe, Hove Lagoon, Hove Park and the Goldstone, alongside the Artists Corner houses and Moda Hove Central itself. 

During the building’s topping out ceremony at the end of last year, Moda cemented Kirsti’s paintbrushes into the highest point, ensuring Kirsti’s work will be a physical part of the scheme forever.

2022 also saw the beginning of Moda’s partnership with Brighton Festival, which delivered the Riwaq – a stunning 30m Arabic colonnade built from reclaimed timber on the Hove seafront.