Andre Stitt – Situation Seminar


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Victor Pasmore, Apollo Pavilion, 1969


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The Apollo Pavilion is an example of a piece of public art that was met with a negative reaction from the people it was made for. Victor Pasmore was appointed Consulting Director of Architectural Design and helped to design the surrounding estate in Peterlee as well as the Pavilion, which was intended as a pedestrian bridge and never as a stand alone art work. The design of the housing estate mirrors that of the bridge, which in turn is an extension of Pasmore’s relief paintings.

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However the Pavilion fell into disrepair and was subject to vandalism, leading to complaints from residents. In 2008 the Apollo Pavilion was repaired and road signs erected in an effort to increase footfall.

The art work raises the question of the importance of the residents opinion when designing public art and also the social consequences of making art in this way. The idea of Art and life becoming connected is something that appears logical in theory but in reality has negative effects because it can be detrimental to the quality of life for residents. (e.g Park Hill Sheffield  Other installations which have been met with similar controversy are Rachel Whiteread’s House and Anthony Gormley’s  Sculpture for Derry walls.

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