Thanks to funding from Mayor of London's Untold Stories programme, we have been running this history project that will contribute to the programme's commitment to make public spaces more reflective of the capital’s diversity.
In the first part of this 12-week project we have taken 2 walks around Woolwich to find and ask questions of statues in the local streets.
In the Arsenal riverside development a circle of male figures in steel, “Assembly” by Peter Burke, raised questions and uncomfortable feelings for many of the group. We also looked at a more colourful “Buddy Bear” statue which stands in a corner of Beresford Square that is meant to promote tolerance and peace amongst different religions and cultural groups. Like many statues we were surprised that we had passed Buddy Bear numerous times and never noticed him.
Rich, the storyteller, has been sharing a wide range of pictures of statues and public art from other places, leading to meaningful discussions and debate into why these images are in the public realm and how we feel about them.
Recent sessions have focussed on “making” and creative responses - working with natural materials. We had an inspiring visit from artist Remiiya with her model boat Timheri.
We hope to obtain funds to develop and edit a film based on what we have recorded of the emerging conversations and stories.