Paganhill Community Group successfully secured funding from Arts Council England to create a community piece of art to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee
Together with local residents, local artists created a Community Artwork, based around the wool and cloth heritage of our local area, as well as the community and garden at the Octagon Community Centre.
We sourced all of our materials as locally as possible – including the green fabric base which is (famously) made locally as covering for snooker tables etc (this was obtained from Gloucester scrap store). We also used as many recycled and donated/collected materials as possible.
We ran art/craft activities at the Jubilee Celebration on 5th June; introduction to the printmaking that was included in the final piece, flower-making for flowers to be included in the final artwork, and some simple Jubilee themed crafts (crowns etc) for younger children. All of these were very popular and we were busy with involvement of children for the entire 3 hours. We then presented the artwork at various community sessions over the following weeks, where both children and adults participated in making a variety of flowers, guided by the artists, to go on the final artwork.
We held an additional ‘skills share’ session on printmaking, with the artists and Octagon directors. The artwork has been very popular, and people enjoyed seeing it evolve over the weeks. Two artists composed the final piece, using all of the different flowers made by both the artists and the community. We also incorporated elements such as batiq fabric dyeing in the final piece, reflecting earlier workshops that we had held with the children at the Octagon, and made sure to include some roses as they blossom in June, the Jubilee month. Then, together with another
volunteer, the artists attached all the flowers and decorative details, sewing by hand.
The majority of the sewing work was carried out in the space at the Octagon, allowing members of the community to see it in progress – many people commented and admired the artwork and chatted to the artists as they worked.
The end of the project was centred around the final reveal of the finished piece during the community cafe. Many people attended including the District Councillor, County Councillor and the Mayor of Stroud. The piece will now live in the community centre but it is hoped will also be displayed for sometime in the Town Council officers and other public places for people to enjoy.