Fragments of St George’s
About the Project
Working with a group of people (over 55s) from the Bristol community, our aim for this project was to explore through creativity the ‘hidden histories’ of the venue and local area, and our place within this. Guided by a team of creative educators, including visual artists, creative writers and gardeners, the group engaged in a variety of creative processes in a fun and exploratory way.
The project included:
Gardening and Sensory Exploration
Participants learnt about heritage seeds and edible planting with local grower and horticultural expert Lizzie Tubbs, creating their own sensory gardens. Participants also helped create our new herb garden, including the planting of culinary and medicinal herbs, which can be found on the bottom lawn, opposite side to the new extension. It is now used by our chef in creating dishes for our café!
Under the guidance of professional writer Claire Williamson, the group were encouraged to create their own poetry and written work by drawing on the history, building, and gardens of St George’s Bristol.
Cyanotypes and Experimental Photography
Participants created cyanotypes inspired by natural materials found in our gardens and the history of St George’s. A cyanotype is a photographic printing process which creates images in sunlight. Paper is prepared with ferric ammonium citrate and potassium ferricyanide, and cold water rinses the image.
Using collage as a means for exploring the fragments of collective (historical) memories, participants created a series of 2D and 3D mixed media collages inspired by found imagery from old magazines and the St George’s Bristol archives, along with images of the local area and their own creative responses to its histories.
Animation students from UWE Bristol came in to teach the participants basic animation techniques and to help them to explore creative ways in which to animate their 3D collages. The students were then able to take each of the individual animations and add in recordings of the participants reading their own poems, and finally background music.
The Participants then set up an exhibition, with support from St George’s Learning and Participation team and members of UWE animation team, to showcase their artwork and animations and celebrate their achievements.
The Fragments of St George’s project was curated by Laura Phillimore and led by the Learning & Participation team at St George’s Bristol, and forms part of St George’s Heritage Activity Programme. We are grateful to the National Lottery Heritage Fund for its support of our Heritage Project work.