Live and Move are working with a local artist and two local schools on the collaborative Bridge Arts project. Students will have the chance to see their work displayed permanently on one of the city’s bridges from this summer.
Willowbrook Primary School and St James School will be taking part in the project, exploring how communities can be more active. They are taking part in a series of workshops, which will culminate in their work being displayed for all to see on Summer Lane bridge, one of the routes for pedestrians and cyclists to navigate the city.
James Bogue, programme lead for Live and Move says: “The role of Live and Move is to ensure that everybody in Exeter and Cranbrook has access to ways to move more and lead an active life, whatever that looks like for the individual. This project puts local children, families and schools at the very heart of that mission.”
The schools have been invited to create works of art that will inspire young people, their families and their communities to travel actively whenever possible, resulting in increased wellbeing. Students from the schools will attend workshops led by artist and cultural producer Stuart Crewes.
Stuart adds: “All too often, art on infrastructure projects is thought of as something extra. Hopefully this project will be a place to communicate things that are important to the local community, like the way young people perceive the world around them. Creating art with the children and young people who live and play around the bridge is especially impactful and I can’t wait to see what inventive ideas they have to share with us.”
The schools have been asked to create works of art that will show what it’s like for families to be active together, something that head of art at St James’ school, Steve Elcocks, says the children will benefit from. “Being active means so many different things to each child, and I’m looking forward to seeing their interpretations. Giving our young people an opportunity to work on a community-centred project like this, with a professional artist is an incredible opportunity.”
Participants will be asked to talk to their families and friends about what active travel means to them, before coming up with designs for the bridge.
Molly Marlow, Headteacher of Willowbrook School, says: “Asking children of primary age to be part of something like this is hugely empowering for them. Enabling them to contribute to something of such importance makes them feel that their views are valued, and that they have a part to play in their community. I am looking forward to seeing the finished designs on the bridge.”
Workshops at the schools started last week, and the finished artwork will be displayed on the bridge this summer. Keep an eye on our social media pages for updates!