Public get chance to see artists transform pianos for Play Me, I’m Yours

First designs revealed and artists confirmed for street pianos project / 22nd-23rd July and 29th-30th July

People will soon get a chance to see pianos being prepared for Luke Jerram’s street pianos project when artists start transforming the musical instruments into colourful works of art.

Local artists will be decorating some of the pianos donated for the project at The Galleries Shopping Centre and the Bearpit from next weekend, where people will be able to get a sneak peak of the pianos before they hit the streets later in August for the world famous Play Me, I’m Yours.

The artists selected to take part in the project have also been revealed, alongside the first designs for the pianos.

Chosen by Luke Jerram and his team, the artists reflect the diversity and quality of the creative talent in Bristol, and include well-known street artists such as Sickboy, SEPR and 3dom, as well as a range of fine artists, graphic specialists and illustrators.

Piano styles are wide ranging, and one piano will be completely covered in Bristol pound notes to celebrate the city’s currency.

Luke Jerram, the Bristol-based artist behind Play Me I’m Yours, said: “Bristol is rightly known for its creativity and the pianos provide a wonderful blank canvas for visual artists to showcase their talent.

“We’ve been really impressed by the quality and diversity of the designs submitted and the range of artists that have been inspired to take part. There are some amazingly-inventive ideas, such as a colouring book piano, an untold story Mexican design and a piano with wings, and alongside these there are some really beautiful and colourful works of art.”

The Galleries Shopping Centre is to host the first of its live decoration events on the weekend of 22nd– 23rd July, and a second event the following weekend, 29th and 30th, (11am-5pm) at 12 Union Galleries, The Galleries Shopping Centre, Broadmead, Bristol. Artists lined up to take part will be Simon Tozer, John Collett, Miss4ire, The Bristol Pound team, Emma J Holloway, and Carrie Love.

Artists will be capturing the attention of passers-by in the Bearpit as they transform pianos on 22nd and 23rd July (12pm-6pm). Sickboy, SEPR and 3dom will all be decorating at this event.

The full list of artists who have been commissioned to work on the project and the locations of their pianos are as follows: Sally Harris and Mark Harris (At-Bristol Science Centre); Sam Emm (The Mall, Cribbs Causeway); Mangostone (St George’s Bristol); Simon Tozer (Brunel’s SS Great Britain); Amy Ponting (Wapping Wharf); SEPR (Paintworks); John Collett (Broadmead); Miss4ire (The Galleries Shopping Centre); Emma J Holloway (St Nicholas Market); Carrie Love (Beacon House); Bristol Pound (The Tobacco Factory); Sickboy (The Bearpit); Simone Dougall, Hope Talbot and Julie Thorpe (Windmill Hill City Farm); 3dom (Bristol Bus and Coach Station); Kim Fielding (Harbourside: covered Walkway next to The Watershed); KWMC Workshop (Knowle West Media Centre); and Zoe Power(Bristol Temple Meads Railway Station).

The musical arts trail will see individually-decorated pianos installed in public spaces across the city for everyone to play and enjoy. The project will run in Bristol from Thursday 17th August to Thursday 7th September.

This is the first time the project has been funded through the sponsorship of individual pianos from At-Bristol Science Centre, Paintworks, Brunel’s SS Great Britain, St George’s Bristol, Tobacco Factory, The Broadmead BID, The Galleries Shopping Centre, The Mall at Cribbs Causeway, University of Bristol, Urban Creation and Wapping Wharf. Arts Council England has match-funded the project as part of a national scheme to encourage wider funding of the arts.

This marks the 10th year of the project which has seen over 1700 pianos in over 55 cities across the globe reaching over 10 million people, bearing the simple instruction Play Me, I’m Yours.

During the project, you can share your stories, photos and videos via and on social media, Facebook (@bristolstreetpianos), Twitter (@streetpianos) and Instagram by searching streetpianos, using the hashtag #bristolstreetpianos

Check for details about when you can see the pianos, and for a map showing their locations.