You are invited to take part in the closing event for the Stoke 50 project which will end on Hallo’ween, 31st October. Come along to the party where a walking tour will take place of the area, with pumpkin soup and a special Stoke 50 cake.
To view the invitation, please click on this link: Stoke 50
Arts organisation, Redhawk Logistica, meanwhile was out and about knocking on doors in Lowther and Portland Street recruiting households to get involved in its Stoke 50 project. The inspiration behind Stoke 50 was to get more colour into the streets of Stoke-on-Trent, thus improving the neighbourhood. The completed project will see fifty households have their front doors painted in a unique shade; currently 30 front doors have been revamped.
How would you describe working in Stoke-on-Trent in one word or sentence?
Starting as an outsider in a strange city and ending up feeling almost like part of the community.
What has been the highlight of your time working in the city?
This has got to be the people of Stoke, they have lived up to their reputation for being friendly, open, helpful and trusting. It has been a privilege to be invited into people’s homes and to have had so many interesting and enlightening chats about anything and everything in their living rooms.
Do you think the installation was successful?
Yes! It is a quiet project and we’ve quietly made progress and hopefully left people feeling happy with their colour choices. Some look magnificent and stand out, others are smart and recede into the overall street scene, but people are aware of the project and have been really positive about it.
Are you likely to work in the city again? Have you made any connections while being in Stoke?
We are in the final stages now and have nearly the full quota of 50 households signed up to have their doors painted and the actual painting is not far behind, but we’ve got a couple more weeks left to go before the project finishes. We’ve made a really strong connection with Portland Street Community Centre, who have been very supportive of the project and we’ll be doing a final event for local people there when the last door is painted. Who knows what ideas might grow out of that, we really like Stoke-on-Trent and there is so much of it, with lots of interesting buildings and public spaces and we feel like we’ve only just scratched the surface, so we’d love to do more work here.
Click on this link for a bit more information:
Free door painting is right up their straight: http://bit.ly/pJmYYU
For more images of the Stoke 50 project, please check out the Facebook album here.
The actual door painting started four weeks ago on Monday 15th August and since then we’ve had a busy time keeping up with it. All sorts of factors influence progress, too rainy or windy is no good, if people are out or work shifts we have to accommodate that and sometimes a colour in real life is just not what was expected and the job comes to a halt while we try to sort it out. So far about a quarter of the doors have been painted and over twenty five households have signed up, that’s over half way towards our goal, which is to introduce a total of fifty new colours into the neighbourhood.
We’ve had conversations on doorsteps about differences between various shades or tried to match a paint up with a colour someone already had in mind, we’ve even done a colour selection over the phone! Some people’s colour choices stand out and make a kind of statement about who they are and others are the opposite. Some feel strongly and take their time to decide, pouring over the swatches, while others are happy with a new coat of paint that just blends in. From our palette of heritage inspired colours we’ve had some sumptuous ones selected like Peacock Blue, Naples Red and Grass Green and some interesting new combinations where two doors are close together.
We’ve also met a real cross section of people from the neighbourhood and talked about all sorts of things, including what its like living round there. We’ve been offered numerous cups of tea and our reception has been really positive, with many people pleasantly surprised when we tell them what we are doing. The painting goes on and everyday we are on site a new flurry of colour appears up and down the streets, surprising people with these new additions. One of the project’s aims is to spread a little happiness through the joy of colour and as more and more of the doors are completed the collective effect will become more noticeable, while remaining subtle.
What is Stoke 50? We are offering 50 households the chance to have their front door painted in any colour they like (except black or white). Each painted door will be a unique shade; no two will be exactly the same.
Who can take part? You could be part of this exciting project if you live on Rutland St, Lowther St or Denbigh Street. It is completely free of charge, whatever your status, whether you are in rented accommodation, private property or are the owner occupier. Please note we can only paint wooden doors, we can’t paint UPVC doors.
How do I sign up? Send us an email with your contact details and we’ll get back to you;
We will also be calling round in person to see people with wooden doors to invite you to take part. Please note the offer is strictly limited to the first fifty households who sign up.
Who are we? Redhawk Logistica is a creative agency that delivers cultural solutions. We work in public spaces and involve people in our community projects.
Find out more;
Come along and celebrate on Sat 17 September. It is Staffordshire Open Studios that weekend alongside our celebration picnic, so you’ll be able to see lots of artists at work.
Redhawk Logistica has been working in City Centre North West, an area also known as Hanley or Cobridge on a project called Stoke 50. Find out more here.
Come along to see how the project has progressed, the challenges he has faced with the project and how working directly with the people who live in the area he is making an impact.
Place Space and Identity have hosted six artists who have encouraged the people of Stoke on Trent to dance, make movies, paint their doors, smash ceramics and make wishes, re-discover their neighbourhood and discover Winton Square.
Come to our ‘Meet the Artists’ sessions to hear from the artists directly about what inspired their work.
We hope that you have enjoyed taking part in the projects over the summer – these talks are a chance to share your experiences with the artists and find out what makes them tick including a webcast with artist Lucy Cork.
All are free and open to all.
IMAGE BY DARREN WASHINGTON
ICONIC IMAGES PHOTOGRAPHY
I always have my camera handy whenever I’m walking around new cities as you tend to notice details that seem to have faded into the general ambience of a place over time. Walking is the subject of Will Self’s latest book and and in some of the promotional literature for Birmingham Book Festival, where he is speaking next month, they quote Jean Jacques Rousseau’ s observation; that we think at walking pace, assimilating sights, impressions and thoughts along the way.
From my recent strolls around Stoke-on-Trent I’ve gathered a few snaps of my favourite ‘urban moments’ to share here, starting with the home-made CCTV sign, written in marker pen next to two louvred doors. Maybe it’s the contrast between the impersonal experience of being under surveillance and the human touch of the hand written sign that allows us to view this notice with some affection? Next up is a fragment of magnificent tiled floor, peeping out of the dirt beneath some temporary fencing around a derelict site, like an artifact on an archaeological dig. Nearby is a faded sign for ‘Hope Street’, which seems poignant and is by chance pointing in the same general direction as the sign for Alton Towers theme park, visible in the background.
Nestled amongst the warnings signs of an electrical ‘sub-station’ doorway is a piece of urban art, a great example of how the accomplished stencil artist chooses just the right place to insert their work, making it part of a bigger composition. Above a car park the sign for Hi-Peak Leisure has been painted out, presumably as the business is no longer trading there, but whoever did that seems to have decided to leave the word ‘leisure’ in place to add it’s influence. Finally, a more rough and ready text intervention is this example of old school grafitti on some of the hoardings that surround the city; Home Boyz.