Part of moving forward is reflecting on what has just been. Not for long. Just enough to know we are on the right path.
Published date: 31 January 2022
We already have many exciting projects lined up for 2022. But before we bring you news on these, we offer a quick recap of what 2021 meant for us.
There’s no denying 2021 was another difficult year for many. However, we are heartened to see the positive ways our local and work communities forged together and supported each other.
One thing that helped us remain focused on moving forward was our belief in using art to help tell the story of a place. Something which will remain our motivation as we face the new year ahead.
Our commissions and installations in 2021 were as always, focused on the communities in which they were situated. We reflected on memorials we created to both commemorate the past and inspire the future, including memorials for an individual sadly lost to Covid and the Pujji Memorial in Gravesend.
We highlighted the importance of having art represented throughout development projects and created initiatives to get more representation for younger members of the community through art projects including Great Places: Lakes & Dales (GPLD) and the Craven boundary signage commission.
Our projects at Cambridge Crescent and Springfield Mill in Maidstone in Kent are just a few examples of how we pursued our aim to help encourage integration between existing and new communities. All whilst driving access to art for all with public spaces for everyone to enjoy and explore.
Aside from these and many other projects, we also added our voice and support to the issues around the importance of our high streets, sustainability and the impacts of funding cuts in the arts sector.
In-house, we completed a brand refresh focused on the Bauhaus principles, reflecting the collaborative nature of our work. All in all, quite a year!
Kicking off 2022 was the fantastic news that the Public Art Now! Newspaper we created with Nic Draper Design for the GPLD campaign was selected by the Newspaper Club as one of their favourite front pages of 2021. View it here.
Parsonage Place, Otham, in Maidstone, Kent
With any public art commission, we always adopt a local community centric approach. One of our latest projects is a collaboration with Bellway Homes and Aspect Landscapes at Parsonage Place in Maidstone, Kent. The public art approach is rooted in building attractive, desirable and sustainable developments in which customers want to live in harmony with existing communities.
The public art proposals are centred around this community element, helping to integrate and embed the new arrivals to Parsonage Place with the existing village life community.
Rob Turner has been chosen as the lead artist for the Otham project. At the core of his practice is the belief that artists have an important role as chroniclers of change to improve environments.
With his understanding of the strong sense of community and village life in the conservation area of Otham, his approach will be focused on engaging local people and organisations to create artworks which have meaning and local relevance.
Rob, who is based in Kent, has already delivered well over 100 large scale public and community art projects across the UK. For Parsonage Place, he aims to strengthen local identity and celebrate local heritage by designing and making mosaics, trails and landscape features.
Ashmere Artist Announcement
We can now announce that Jo Chapman has been appointed as the artist who will collaborate with FrancisKnight and partners Countryside Partnerships, Latimer by Clarion Housing Group and Henley Camland on the significant gateway public art commission at Ashmere, Ebbsfleet Garden City.
Ashmere is situated at the former Eastern chalk quarry and will provide up to 2,600 mixed-tenure homes as well as a primary school and a village centre.
Jo, who lives and works in Suffolk, has vast experience in working in the public realm on large scale commissions including projects in the UK, France, Ireland and India. Her ability to take inspiration from the effects of time and draw beauty from her surroundings will complement the unique identity of the chalk white cliffs, and green surrounding landscape of the Ashmere development.
Partnership with FleaFolly at Castle Hill South
We can also now confirm that FleaFollyArchitects have been selected as the spatial designers and architects for our project at Castle Hill South.
The team are known for their ‘spatial-storytelling’ approach using narrative and fiction to discover, explore and invent unique architecture. Their objective to surprise and delight makes them an ideal choice to work on the Castle Hill South development.
Like Ashmere, Castle Hill sits within the Whitecliffe development, which is also part of Ebbsfleet Garden City. In total, the development areas of the Garden City propose to deliver up to 15,000 homes.
Your 2022 Plans
Are you thinking about commissioning public art in 2022? Download our free series of practical guides for everything you need to know to make your project a success: https://francisknight.co.uk/work-with-us/