❉ Cambridge Live celebrated Syd Barrett with the unveiling of commemorative artwork and a live concert.
After a year of planning, ‘Syd Barrett – A Celebration’, organised by Cambridge Live in conjunction with the Barrett family and estate, took place at Cambridge Corn Exchange last night, paying tribute to the former Pink Floyd legend following years of campaigning by the general public for a lasting memorial.
The artwork was unveiled by members of the Barrett family, in a reception where Cambridge Live’s Operations Director Neil Jones, Syd’s sister Rosemary Breen, and his nephew Peter Barrett thanked Cambridge City Council for the funding which made the artwork possible, as well as expressing gratitude to all those who had been involved in making the celebration event possible.
The piece is entitled CODA (referencing Syd’s last performance at the venue) and uses reflective surfaces and bicycle components (representing his iconic song ‘Bike’, as well as Cambridge), as well as a wheel spinning to reveal LED images and lyrics of the former Pink Floyd guitarist. The artwork has been designed by artists Clare Palmier and Spadge Hopkins with fabrication from Cory Burr.
In 2015 Cambridge Live commissioned, in collaboration with Syd’s family, this piece of public art with Section 106 funding from Cambridge City Council to be permanently displayed at the Cambridge Corn Exchange. The artwork was to commemorate Syd’s last ever live public performances, which took place at the venue in 1972.
Following the artwork unveiling, there was a live public concert featuring Swedish band Men on the Border, the only band in the world who play the solo music of Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd, backed by the 50-piece Sandviken Symphony Orchestra who hail from the same town in Sweden as the band.
The concert also featured narration from acclaimed playwright, and former school friend of Syd, David Gale, lighting by Peter Wynne Wilson who worked with Pink Floyd between 1966 and 1968 plus two members of P-Floyd, one of the foremost Pink Floyd concept bands in the world.
The celebrations began on Friday 21 October with a specially curated film night, a partnership between Cambridge Live, the 36th Cambridge Film Festival and Cambridge Film Trust to present. The evening will include a series of short films about Syd Barrett, and the world premiere of Get All That Ant?, a documentary film about the Swinging Sixties. The free-form documentary made by Barrett’s former school friend and fellow art student, Anthony Stern, featuring unique documentary footage and never before seen images of the 1960s.
The Syd Barrett memorial artwork was made possible thanks to Section 106 funding from Cambridge City Council.
❉ ‘Syd Barrett – A Celebration’ is sponsored by Millers Music. ‘Syd Barrett – A Celebration’ Film Night is a partnership with the 36th Cambridge Film Festival.
❉ News source: Ellie Thompson, Prescription PR / All images: Jo Randall