Popley Fields Community Centre in Basingstoke was built on an open space owned by the council in 1998. The project was managed by Michael Johnson of Basingstoke and Deane District Council and the building was designed by Feilden Clegg Architects. Sasha Ward made a spectacular glass installation for the atrium and I collaborated with her using coloured scrap glass for the lights I made. The artworks were paid for by an RSA grant
The brief was to involve the local community in the creation of artworks for their new centre. I worked with a local youth club as well as a local school and set up a stall at an open day offering people pencils and paper for their ideas.. The building was still under construction at the time of the drawing visit with the children from the primary school so the imagery includes builders carrying hods of bricks, as well as images of themselves and some of the local flora and fauna of the area.
I made various proposals and ended up making two large and one smaller light fittings for the walls of the main hall and some wall mounted plates throughout the building based on some of the figures drawn by the children. All the work was galvanised
At the time of writing the same children would now be in their mid twenties probably many of them with children of their own. I wonder if the idea of involving them in something for their community has made them feel a sense of ownership and belonging.