Have you spotted the X5 interpretation boards across Blackwell parish that #GreaterCreative have been working on for the last few years? Finally all of the collective hard work is being shared and enjoyed in the community and we’ve had some lovely feedback 🙌
‘I would like to congratulate you on the beautiful parish history boards, I have lived in the parish 60 years and it’s fantastic to tell the story of parish history. I love the pyrography too, well done’
It’s been such a collective effort to get these created and has taken us all lots of time to co-create together. One board had 18 edits of information due to local residents sharing more detailed information! It has been a slow and considered process to commemorate our Parish History.
It’s important to share who’s been involved in making this collective project work so here’s a flavour of who’s been involved in this Greater Creative project:
Content for the boards was researched and compiled by the Greater Creative Team through all four villages, working with input from parish residents.
Working party member Tony Mellors was certainly very pleased to be involved with this particular project ”Although not born in Blackwell Parish, I am fascinated by its history, much of it passed on to me by those who have long family roots here, and wonderful stories, and it’s a pleasure to be able to pass on that history to others."
Our lead artist who created the Illustration interpretations & bronze ingot designs was local artist Emma Reynard who had this to say about her involvment in the project:
"I am relatively new to the Blackwell Parish so it has been fascinating for me to learn about all the local history while illustrating the boards. I've also enjoyed collaborating with everyone, from the local residents through to the other artists/makers. It's really exciting to see the work finally installed and to leave a legacy for all the local residents to experience for years to come. I think the finished boards are really unique and tactile with the carved timber, bronze ingots and the beautiful pyrography; I'd love to see the rubbings that people take from the ingots."
The boards were designed by AT Creative (who were also involved in our R2R Trails App). Dan Boys from AT Creative shared his reflections with us
“It’s been a real pleasure learning about the history of some of the villages on my doorstep and finally understand the story of A and B Winning! I’ve really enjoyed guiding the Greater Creative team through the process of creating their own self-guided trails app. Working with the community has been a constant stream of good humour and passion about their locality. As with any good heritage interpretation project, the key to success is the simple delivery of good stories, and the app is a vehicle to share these wonderful stories in modern and engaging way. Every time I’ll walk these trails in the future I’ll think about not only the stories of Blackwell parish's industrial past but also the friends I made along the way on this creative journey."
The Ingots housed on the board structures were expertly put together by David Colley with support from Mark, looking after the CAD & foundry facilitation.
The glorious wood frames were designed and created by wood sculptor Andrew Frost & master cabinet maker Richard (pictured during install).
Frame Pyrography was by Liz Appleby who had the following thoughts about her involvement in the project.
"This was my first jump into large scale pyrography work and I think it worked well. Having never burnt on this kind of scale before I had to just go with my gut as I had nothing else really to compare it too. So I just very loosely pencilled in where things might go and went from there. It was easier to concentrate on a little bit at a time ... when I stepped back and looked at what I'd done that day - it was often very disheartening! I mean how could I have spent all day on that tiny area when there were hundreds of other tiny area's yet to do!? However this project was ultimately a great learning curve and actually boosted my confidence so that I feel I can probably pretty much pyrography any size piece of wood now without feeling fazed. I think the interpretation boards look great. Everyone working together has produced something special and unique. I'm really proud of what we've all achieved. It a lovely thing to remind a community of how special it is and celebrate its historical roots.
It's great to work alongside people who genuinely care what you do and how it'll be perceived by the community and the public. Being an artist can be a very solitary thing most of the time. And sometimes, if you' re having a bit of a mental block knowing you're the only person who can 'fix it' it can be a huge pressure. Its very comforting to be able to bounce idea's off someone else who is on the same page as you!"
Our busy Project Assistant Wendy from Platform Thirty1 also had some thoughts to add after considering her involvment in the production of the project:
"Working with residents of Blackwell Parish has been a great experience for me.
During my research I have discovered so much fascinating and rich information about the local area, but an added and unexpected bonus is that along the way I have made many new friends. Everyone I have met and spoken with during my time on the project has been so giving of their time and knowledge about the local area. It’s really great now to see that everyone’s hard work has paid off to create beautiful additions to our parish."
Finally a word from Project Facilitator, Jodie Cresswell-Waring
"This project has been a true medley of co-creation from beginning to end. It began from listenings that took place in the community where we heard loudly that there isn’t currently enough visibility and commemoration to our parish past history. Through working carefully with local residents, artists and professionals we have together all created something very special. With so much local knowledge, varied skills and expertise involved the project, it has taken a lot of time, consideration and resource which is completely reflected in the outcomes of this project that the whole parish gets to enjoy. The process alone was very powerful to be a part of and seeing these now stood proud and installed from a seed of an idea a few years back…well, it brings me a lot of joy as a resident in the parish to see what weall have achieved."
Board Printing by Colourset (Notts), Installed by Andrew Frost & his associates
Project funded by #creativecivicchange 2022