How RedBall UK Came About

We asked one of the brains behind bringing Kurt Perschke’s RedBall to the UK in 2012 - Mischa Eligoloff from Torbay Council - to tell us how it all happened.

How did RedBall UK come about?

ME: I have always loved the RedBall Project and used it in presentations as an exemplar of the best arts in the public realm project around, at the same time David Francis at Dartington was walking around inspired by it and wanted to bring it to the UK, at a meeting with one of his team I mentioned the project – the rest is history….

Why did you want to bring RedBall to the UK?

ME: How many reasons do you need? It’s brilliant and it’s funny! It challenges people to look around them and see places in a new light, to look at buildings and architecture in a different way; it provides a conversation and talking point when it’s in situ. We want to bring the very best public art to Torbay to inspire residents and visitors and showcase the English Riviera as a great place to live, work, visit and play.

Why did you want to work together?

ME: Working with Dartington has been a joy, we share many of the same views on how important arts and culture are to us as a society and how they can inspire young people and be a driver for inward investment and support our local tourist economy by developing the area as a happening place and the events and arts capital of the SW!

How did you get the money to make it happen?

ME: The majority of the money came from the Arts Council via a Grant for the Arts application which was written in the main by the wonderful Alicia Beckett. Securing the funding in the current financially challenging climate was difficult as she had to capture the project’s essence and brilliance whilst exploring how we could use the project to develop audiences and inspire young people in particular.

What’s special about RedBallUK?

ME: I think there are two unique elements to the project. Firstly RedBall has been to many cities around the world but this is the first time it has ever been on a ‘tour’, We wanted to try and develop a new template for joint working across organisational and local authority boundaries whereby in this instance Torbay and Dartington would develop a project which would visit other areas at no cost to partners - our hope is that they may do the same in return and send us some great art in the near future! Secondly the RedBall education project is very exciting for us in Torbay, we like to think that every arts and cultural project we run can contain certain threads one of which is education. The RedBall education project will see us go into schools in the Bay and work with year 6 children, the project takes Kurt’s RedBall as one of its starting points and we hope the young people will be inspired to realize their dreams.

What do you want RedBall UK to achieve?

ME: I hope the project makes people smile, laugh, and talk to each other. Strategically I hope it’s the beginning of a great relationship with our partners and the first of many great projects we can develop and bring to the SW.

Any advice for people embarking on a similar project?

ME: My overriding advice would be to take your time and get it right. This project has been in development for over two years. Secondly I would always try and think creatively about what you want to do and how you can add value to the core project. Finally don’t cut corners, work with the best (see the credits on the Contact page) often in local authorities we are asked/challenged to work with local artists, whilst there is always a way you can employ local people (in this case supporting the education project) try and bring the best in their field for every aspect of a project from conception, through to marketing and evaluation - A rising tide raises all ships!