ixia commissions new writing in order to contribute to the debate around contemporary practice. Through these commissions we aim to provide information about current public art practice and theory and to advance critical discourse and understanding of the role of art within the built environment.

NEW THINKING IN PUBLIC ART: Habitat, Community, Environment

This series of three titles explores the increased integration of artists in regeneration practices. Responding to current artistic and architectural practices, ixia wants to open up fresh thinking on defining ‘public art’ and the role artists have within public realm development. In each volume an artist has been commissioned to produce a new art project as a means of introducing ideas that are relevant to all those working in public realm development. The series was published in 2006.

1) As Big as a House… – Richard Woods. In his first book-based artwork, Richard maps urban habitats, examining branding and vernacular languages within cities and towns. The book contains an interview with the artist alongside Sarah Chaplin and Eric Holding’s essay, Manufacturing Authenticity, which explores and challenges some of the assumptions upon which we base our notion of authenticity, highlighting the architectural contrivance at work in creating new city identities.

2) If you can’t find it, give us a ring – public works. Art and architecture collective, ‘public works’, revisit their project Park Products. The theme of community is taken up by exploring the space and informality of networks found in institutions and public space. The book contains an interview with the artists and an essay by Doina Petrescu, Working towards a real public space, which revisits the notions of community, public and participation.

3) Collective Space – Lucy and Jorge Orta. This book explores the theme of neighbourhood and the concern for the street as an environment where people live. Collective Space contains an interview with the artists, looking at their staging of public dinner parties and proposals for the setting of the 50th meal in the ’70 x 7′ series. It also includes geographer and activist Paul Chatterton’s essay/manifesto Retrofitting the Corporate City: Five Principles for Urban Survival.

To order contact Central Books.


DESIRABLE PLACES: The contribution of artists to creating spaces for public life – £7.99

This publication brings together texts invited in response to the current context for commissioning public art. Desirable Places offers interpretations of the relationship between art, people and place, and the agendas shaping the design and delivery of our public spaces. It includes the following essays:

  • Living by Design: City Life and the Work of Art – Steve Pile, Reader in Cultural Geography at the Open University;
  • Art and the Space of Relations – David Webb, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, Staffordshire University;
  • I won an artist in a raffle’ – Melanie Jordan and Andrew Hewitt, Artists;
  • Unbridled Lust: The Past Revealed, the Future Released –Alberto Duman, Artist;
  • Collaboration, Discipline and Ownership – Nayan Kulkarni, Artist.
    ISBN: 1873352042

To order contact Central Books.



Until March 2002 ixia published the Public Art Journal which included essays and reviews.

  • Vol 1, No 1, March 1999SOLD OUT reviews the challenges of contemporary practice. Essays include:
    Sacha Craddock: More questions than answers
    Simon Herbert: It’s not the longevity that counts, it’s what you do with it that matters
    Elizabeth A MacGregor: Public Art and Gallery Art
    Peter Ride: Virtual Work in Public Places
    Brian Catling: Public Art: the personal view of a reluctant recruit
    Jonathan Drake: Art for Architecture
  • Vol 1, No 2, October 1999: SOLD OUT considers the place between theory and practice. Contributors include:
    Jane Rendell, Martin Richman, FAT and Katherine Clarke of muf.
  • Vol 1, No 3, March 2000: SOLD OUT addresses social and cultural inclusion. Essays include:
    Christopher Coppock: Derry’s Walls of Fortune
    Eileen Adams: Public Art Public Education
    Dave Beech: Public Art after Virtue
    Linda Moss and Elizabeth Norman: Space for the Individual: An Alternative Taxonomy of Public Space?
  • Vol 1, No 4, October 2000: SOLD OUT. Encompasses collaborations between art and science. Essays include:
    Jane Brake: Real Time/Virtual Space. Commissioning on the Internet
    Elsa Leviseur: Quaking House and Skinningrove
    Andrew Cross: Hitchcock and Jellyfish. Visual Art Projects in Glasgow
    Teresa Hoskyns: Taking Place
  • Vol 1, No 5, April 2001: SOLD OUT. Addresses issues of site specificity.
  • Vol 1, No 6, April 2002: SOLD OUT. Addresses the relationships between art and commerce. Essays include:
    Ben Heywood: Public Art – (Un)Popular Culture
    Michael Wilson: Summer in the City
    Piers Masterson: Selling Beauty
    Jude Bloomfield: Branding the Urban
    John Newling: A Short Walk