A mock-up of what the project will look like (Photo: Luke Jerram)
As this long Canadian winter drags on, here's a reminder of the kind of fun you can get up to when the weather gets warmer: artist Luke Jerram is trying to build a 90-metre water slide (that's about one-and-a-half NHL rinks long) down Park St. in central Bristol.
Jerram, who's from Bristol, hopes to install "Park and Slide" as a one-day-only event on May 4, as part of the city's Make Sundays Special program of car-free events. "This massive urban slide transforms the street and asks people to take a fresh look at the potential of their city and the possibilities for transformation," Jerram writes in his project description. "The person on the slide becomes the performer, while spectators either side watch on."
The slide will be made out of plastic sheeting and bales of hay, and will be free to all comers (there'll be a queuing system to keep things fair). To test out the materials, Jerram's team conducted a test run on an estate on the outskirts of Bristol last year.
Today, made giant 50m waterslide, in AshtonCrt, Bristol. Plan is to install it in centre of the city next summer. pic.twitter.com/PBtQwnDZwQ— Luke Jerram (@lukejerram) October 30, 2013
"I like the way participants have a look of pleasure and fear in their eyes," Jerram said of the test run. "They seem to slide in and out of control with their body and forces of gravity. Personally, I found the little adrenalin rush you get at the end quite addictive." (Anyone familiar with Slip 'n Slides from childhood birthday parties will know what he's getting at.)
To pay for the project, Jerram has launched a crowdfounding campaign on Spacehive, a site similar to Kickstarter, seeking £5,618 (about $10,300).
If Jerram's name sounds familiar, it might be because he's the brains behind "Play Me, I'm Yours," the project that installed thousands of colourfully painted upright pianos in cities around the world, including Toronto and Stratford, ON.
Here's a video of one Torontonian taking a tour of 20 of the pianos when they were installed in the city: