Introducing Emily Speed

Who are you? 
I am Emily Speed, an artist with a bad stationery addiction who likes swimming outside.

Hello, how are you? 
I’m pretty good thanks. I’m about to go to Texas to meet a load of cheerleaders, so I’m pretty excited about that.

What do you do? 
I make art, write and dance as often as possible. 


What have you been looking at recently?
Etruscan votive offerings, Gio Ponti furniture, my computer screen (I’m currently editing a film) and holidays that I can’t afford to take.

What are you doing for Art Across The City 2015? 
I am putting several hundred helium balloons, each printed with a fragment of the Civic Centre, inside the atrium of the Civic Centre.

What are your ideas behind the work? 
I am interested in the temporary nature of buildings and so was very struck by the Civic Centre and how it represented a certain period in time. I also felt like there has to be a lot of optimism in the construction of a structure like that and the fact that it is being sold seems quite sad, like it is a kind of failure. The balloons are a bit of a lament for the building I suppose.

What do you think the public will make of it?
I don’t know about that, but I hope that it might lead to people having a good look at the architecture of the Civic Centre. The last person I told about it said that their first memory was of losing a balloon and seeing it bob around out of reach on a ceiling, so perhaps some of those memories too.