Victoria Word has chosen the word Happy for the third annual outing of Front Row’s neon artwork. The piece was was unveiled in the BBC Radio 4 programme last night, during a special live edition from the BBC studios in MediaCityUK, Salford.
The three-by-six-metre neon artwork was first created in December 2011 to mark the BBC’s move to Salford and to mark, what at the time, was the forthcoming centenary in 2012 for the first neon sign. That year, Front Row presenter John Wilson came up with the word Listen and the graphic designer Peter Saville, who is a big fan of neon, agreed to switch it on during a live edition of the programme. Last year, film director Danny Boyle unveiled Wonder as his choice.
Speaking to John Wilson, Victoria Wood explained why she had chosen the word:
I just thought what I would like to see from a distance. I didn’t want to be too pretentious. It relates to what I try to be and what I try to convey in my work and what I think my job is. It’s to do with my responsibility to the audience.
I’m always happy when I’m working anyway and I want people to be happy, it’s just more a reminder that it is possible to feel happy.
The minute I thought of it, I was actually going over Westminster Bridge and the sun was shining and I was looking at St Paul’s Cathedral and I thought I’m very happy and I’m going to choose that for my word.
The artwork is situated on the third floor terrace of Dock House and shines out on MediaCityUK across the canal, to those approaching by the tram and to those visiting The Lowry.