'Making a Mark'
Community Arts Project
Making a Mark - Bewbush' - A Public and Community Art Commission in Crawley, West Sussex.
May 2010 - November 2011.
A series of community and educational workshops leading to the production of a publicly sited artwork in Bewbush, Crawley, West Sussex consisting of 40 bespoke paving blocks containing metal profiles based on drawings made and developed by residents.
40cm x 40 cm x 65cm Stainless steel, concrete. 2011.
The ‘Making a Mark’ community art project involved young adults, children, parents, teachers, groups and individuals from the Bewbush neighbourhood in the design and creation of artworks to enhance their local area. The project aimed to foster in residents a sense of ownership and pride in their local environment and engage the local community in the ‘Heart of Bewbush’ Regeneration Programme.
The theme of ‘Nature’, given by the Bewbush community to the project, was developed into ideas around 'Dispersal' (referencing the original movement of people from large urban settlements around London to Crawley as part of the initial new town programme and the more current re-location of peoples from around the globe to the area). Seeds have been found to travel long distances in the jet stream (Gatwick is close by). The act of planting a seed is a positive image of renewal and change (the regeneration project) and is a means of establishing oneself, marking a point in time…. making a mark.
Following an afternoon ' beating the bounds' of Bewbush, a day at the Millenium Seed Bank, workshops, talks and presentations, the project culminated in the production and installation of a group of forty bespoke paving blocks for Dorsten Square, a shopping area at the centre of Bewbush. Each block contains a stainless steel profile based upon images created by the children during the day spent meeting scientists, learning about seed dispersal, and drawing seeds (observed whilst looking down microscopes) at the Millennium Seed Bank, Wakehurst Place, Kew.
The project utilised modern industrial and digital manufacturing techniques and has resulted in a permanent, durable and practical public artwork, integrated into the fabric of Dorsten square and ‘planted’ out around the new ‘Healthy Living Centre’ (built as part of the Heart of Bewbush Regeneration Project). Made up of these individual components, the project engaged a large number of the community. The paving blocks connect across the whole of the shopping area, linking the new buildings of the regeneration project with the earlier parts of the square.
The images below show the different stages of the project including; community workshops, a visit to the Millenium Sedbank at The Royal Botanic Gardens at Wakehurst Place, emerging initial ideas and investigations into the adaptation of industrial digital processes to create artworks which will be permanently sited in the community
40 bespoke paving blocks. Water - Jet cut stainless steel inserts, concrete. 2011. 40cm x 40 cm x 6.5cm