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In the 2022 summer, Community Arts by ZK supported an exciting community-led project that brought art and creativity to the streets of Pendle. Through Our Eyes: The People’s Gallery worked with over 40 children and their families during the summer holidays, a fantastic outdoor community garden space which we transformed together through artwork and horticulture.

Led by our community artist, Louise Cunningham and with established mural painter, Keith Parkinson, our community produced eclectic artworks and designed and painted murals throughout 10 creative outdoor workshops. The workshops explored various creative processes and methods and we designed and painted murals inspired by the space, through a variety of sculpture, collage, print, paint, and mixed media workshops. We used the garden as inspiration for shapes and motifs that will become part of the murals and made artworks with natural materials and dyes. This project saw the garden project blossom into colour as the children painting stones, raised beds, and created clay sculptures to place around the space. Keith asked the children what they would like on the murals, and they made drawings and we worked together to decide what to paint and where. The children wanted to see a beach, palm trees, flamingos and birds and flowers, so Keith listened to them and painted a beach scene, a peacock, and a sunflower, as well as making cut out flowers for the raised beds. The space looks fantastic and the whole community can now enjoy it. Our wildflower and vegetable seeds are growing and hopefully by next summer we will have lots to appreciate! A trip to the incredible Yorkshire Sculpture Park finished off the project and the children loved seeing the large-scale sculptures and taking part in an impromptu foam party!
We hope this space and the artwork created by children in the community will spark off creative conversations, instil a sense of pride and enrich the lives of the people in Pendle. This project supported those who do not usually have access to these types of opportunities, or those who may be facing poverty, poor mental health, or suffering from isolation. The project aims to strengthen community cohesion by integrating people into the local community through inclusive and engaging art activities aimed at improving wellbeing and social connections. Working in a community garden not only taught young people and children about sustainability and horticulture, but improved their overall wellbeing through being outdoors, eating healthy and being active.
Thank you to the National Lottery Community Fund for supporting this wonderful project.

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