Leo Fitzmaurice: Arcadia

Arcadia consists of four signs with different characteristics, in different locations at YSP – ranging from the entry point to the expanses of Lower Park.

Arcadia uses the familiar form and visual style of road signs, but rather than giving us factual information and directions, Fitzmaurice’s playful artworks invite us to think of more poetic and abstract ideas. Greeting us on the way in to YSP, is the first sign in motorway blue, with others located further into the Park in heritage brown and village white. Each sign is at odds with its location and normal function, encouraging us to question its purpose.

Arcadia is an imagined natural and harmonious environment, a utopian vision that was a popular subject in mythology as well as in the history of art and literature. Named after a region in Greece, it became a by-word for a simple, unspoiled and perfect place. Fitzmaurice is commenting on the Park’s beautiful landscape that it is seen as an escape from everyday life and a special place to so many people. He also alludes to the fact that much of the Bretton Estate as it appears today was created in the 18th century, almost like an artwork itself.

A white road sign with ARCADIA in black letters, outdoors near to some trees