Early Warning Signs



Market Place

The yellow on black sign was adopted by Peter Bonnell, Senior Curator at QUAD to be displayed outside their building on Derby's Market Place for the whole of 2016. At the end of the year, the sign continued south to ACCA in Sussex, to be displayed outside their building in 2017.

End of Year Report

By Peter Bonnell, Senior Curator, QUAD

QUAD was approached to adopt a Climate Change sign (1/4) by Ellie towards the end of 2015. A fairly large organisation like QUAD – and one with a large gallery; gallery spaces throughout the corridors; a shop, café and three cinemas – can at times struggle to find a home or platform for individual, semi-permanent artworks. The curatorial team here at QUAD utilises much of the interior space in a year-round programme of exhibitions and various presentations, and then there are cinema posters adoring many walls (and outside of the building also). Much for the visitor to look at and see, a cornucopia of signage.

This is where the Climate Change sign came into its own, where it piqued our interest. This was obviously an object with a message that could stand out amongst the myriad signage within QUAD (when it was indoors outside of office hours), and an object that would likely draw interest when it was placed outside of the building. The black sign with yellow fluorescent text that QUAD adopted was a distinctive symbol that would not be missed, and with a year-long residency it had the opportunity to become a mini landmark.

At first the sign was placed quite close to QUAD’s main entrance, but with our liveried Mini eventually being permanently parked in that space, it was moved to the edge of the outside café area – where, if anything, it was even more visible to people passing by. We weren’t able to place an info panel outside near the sign, but we did have an info panel just inside the main entrance space. However, we were unable to record how effective this was as this area is not close to the reception desk or within earshot.

Maintenance was not an issue, although at first we rarely observed the sign rotating with any great velocity; this was likely due to its original placement being close to the main entrance, where it seemed sheltered from the wind. When we moved it further out by the café area, we adjusted the restraining bolt a little so that it was able to rotate, but not with any great speed – due to the area where it was sited being one of high footfall (we didn’t want it spinning at speed with people passing close to it).

In summary, we were very pleased to host the sign. A simple but distinctive artwork with a timely message that became part of the fabric of QUAD for a year.