Capital of Sculpture was a community arts project, working
with local artist / WEA Tutor Stephen Hitchin to produce a commissioned
sculpture or mural for the local community of Kensington; this was part of the wider
Culture of Arts project. The Partnership was between the
Workers’ Educational Association, Communities7 (part of Riverside Housing) with
Funding from Merseytravel and the Celebr8 Fund.
The project involved groups of learners from the local community; these
included sheltered housing residents, Communities7 tenants and members of the
Ghana All Stars Football Club.
The idea of the project was to
bring together the local community by working with a diverse range of people
from different backgrounds and of all ages to create a local meaningful arts
sculpture for the area. The group met on a weekly basis helping the artist
Stephen to finalise a concept and produce the final sculpture. We planned a
number of outings within the Kensington area. The learner’s visited Kensington
Library to research the history of the local area, Botanic Park to generate
ideas and a visit to the Brideway Studios, where Stephen is based for some
hands on modelling.
Capital of Sculpture also took a
unique approach, unlike other traditional arts commissions; this was to give a
sense of ownership to both those involved in the project and to the community.
We wanted the learners to be involved in all stages of the project. The
approach allowed for the learners to become involved not only in the initial idea
generation, but to contribute to the final design and work with the artist at
We also planned an open evening where local residents and
community groups attended; they were also given the opportunity to include
their own personal experiences or local history stories of Kensington. We would
then try to incorporate these into the design, benefiting future generations to
come by telling a story of Kensington over the past few hundred years.
As this was a project for the local community, we wanted the
community to become involved from the beginning; including where they would
want the final piece to be situated. The Mural was
unveiled at an opening event in October 2010 and is now situated at the new
Community Fire Station in Kensington. The sculpture is available for viewing by
both visitors to the station and the general public. From the
photographs you can see the developed area is complimented by the relief mural.
Culture of Arts