Free For All Forever

Mark Gubb, Free For All Forever, 2012, Bristol. Photo courtesy of the artist and BCC. Photo © Jamie Woodley


The Frome Greenway is a pedestrian / Cycle route in Bristol, and part of the wider Lower Frome Corridor initiative. The aim of the initiative is to provide a viable and continuous link from Cabot Circus/Castle Park to Eastville Park and beyond. As part of the project Bristol City Council appointed artist S Mark Gubb to develop an artwork for 2 pedestrian subways on the route, located at the Junction 3 exit of the M32, adjoining St Pauls Easton and the City Centre.


Gubb's final work comprises a text and light work entitled 'Free For All Forever' which seeks to link the two subways and the central grassed area that separates them.

Acknowledging, respecting and drawing on the particular communities of this area, the work aims to engage with the language of activism and the bold aesthetic of commercial/urban/street art and signage. Deliberately ambiguous, the art work text aims to offer up no single message or voice, but leave space for individual interpretation. In part, the work is an acknowledgement of the power of language as a motivating force, but also highlights the potential for a (sometimes willful) misreading or reinterpretation of a statement or text.

Language, communication and miscommunication are of particular importance in Gubb's text works. Texts are drawn from a range of places – song lyrics, political speeches, dialogue in films etc. By isolating them and representing them, they are stripped of their original context and allowed to be reinterpreted by the audience, often with a range of potential meanings. A statement which at first appears very prescriptive in its intent is filtered through an entirely subjective response, potentially to very different ends.

S Mark Gubb

Gubb (b.1974) lives and works in Cardiff. Born and raised near Margate, Kent, he works across a range of media incorporating sculpture, video, sound, installation and performance. The subjects for his work are drawn from the social and political culture he grew up in; an equal fascination with things he finds so great and so terrible about the world we live in. This often takes the form of a re-evaluation and re-interpretation of contemporary culture and history, provoking us to consider our contribution to the world we live in.

His work has been widely exhibited in solo and group exhibitions including  Turner Contemporary (Margate), Dublin Contemporary, Aspex Gallery (Portsmouth), Postmasters Gallery (NYC), Matthew Bown Gallery (Berlin), Mostyn (Llandudno), Ceri Hand Gallery, (Liverpool), Castlefield Gallery (Manchester), ICA (London) and PS1 MoMA (NYC)

Residencies/fellowships include URRA International Residency, Buenos Aires, Argentina (2011), Standpoint Futures, Standpoint Gallery, London (2010),  Cove Park, Scotland (2008), Arts Council of England’s International Fellowship at Bunkier Sztuki, Krakow, Poland (2005) and The Wheatley Fellowship at Birmingham Institute of Art and Design (2005)

  • Commissioner

    Bristol City Council

  • Produced by

    Bristol City Council (Public Art Unit)

  • Partners

  • Supported by

    Bristol City Council, Bristol Alliance