Lockdown Walk

 

 On my daily walks I have been exploring my neighbourhood and over the weeks yarn bombing has taken hold of the street furniture. Knitted and crochet sleeves cover the sign posts, garden gates hang decorations and windows display rainbow-tastic tasselled creations.  I imagine an army of knitters called to duty with the task to produce these gems or maybe it's a lone crafter on their own crusade? As well as brightening up the scenery, they bring optimism and a smile and every day I look forward to discovering more as I hunt for the next brightly coloured treasure. 

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Planning Awards 2020 SHORTLISTED Chatham Placemaking Project

planningAwards shortlist   

Some positive news in these uncertain times, FrancisKnight are delighted to announce that the Chatham Placemaking Project has been shortlisted for the Planning Awards 2020 in the award category for best use of arts, culture or sport in placemaking. This is a true recognition of the talented, creative artists’ team that connected, celebrated and gave voice to the past, present and future communities that made the Chatham Placemaking project such a success.

Medway Council were awarded £4 million government funding for Chatham Placemaking Project, a public realm scheme to regenerate a pedestrian route from the station to the town centre. Asequential route of connected locations and points was proposed with improvements at Chatham Station, New Cut Junction, St John's Square, Lower Railway Street and Military Square.  FrancisKnight, Public Art Consultants were appointed by Medway Council to commission artists to identify and scope creative public realm opportunities along the route. They commissioned Lead Artist Christopher Tipping to collaborate with the design team, LDA Design and Project Centre, on design solutions that resulted in permanent public art interventions as a compelling resolution to the regeneration of the public realm.

The artist team was expanded to work alongside Christopher Tipping including Writer Rob Young, Printmaker Xtina Lamb, Filmmaker Simon Williams and Furniture Maker Andrew Lapthorn. Together the team developed a community engagement programme with artist led workshops, school activity and community consultation inviting local people to contribute their stories, share personal photographs and archive material. 

The resulting work begins at Chatham Station with text embedded into the extra wide kerbs resonant of Chatham’s Historic Dockyard; this detail continues along the route. Seating, with timbers donated from the dockyard are placed at New Cut with historical and anecdotal text in the paving. A set of curved granite steps with wave step ends sandblasted with conversations and stories at St John’s Square open up the vista towards the town centre.  Lower Railway Street has new street benches on improved paving laid in a herringbone pattern to reflect the tailors and outfitters that once traded in the town. Text laid into the extra wide kerb detail acknowledges a variety of retailers past and present.  Finally, Military Square features an installation of 400 bespoke radius-cut artscape blocks of granite set into a 17m diameter circle. 

The use of materials, historic, physical and social influences in the public realm has created a contemporary streetscape with a connected, positive journey that is bold, attractive and more convivial. Chatham Placemaking celebrates a sense of place with the community by embeddingtext and pattern with a mix of eavesdrops, stories and historic fact to create a play of words, which suggests that what makes a town, is the people and their voices - however small, quiet and ordinary.

May You Live In Interesting Times

It’s business as usual for FrancisKnight and we’re glad to have clients with the same attitude.  As a creative business we have learnt to bend and flex over the years and we will continue to do so.  The arts, we are sure, will be a source of comfort, activity and inspiration over the coming months.  Looking back to last year’s Venice Biennale, how apt was the title ‘May You Live In Interesting Times’? We visited in October 2019 and whilst we shared a few images on Instagram and tagged some of our lovely artists we didn’t get the chance to properly look at and share our own photos. 

Whilst the Coronvirus has and continues to have a devastating effect on Italy it has been interesting to see the photos come out of Venice of the canals getting cleaner and wildlife returning.  We felt it was a good time to share some of our photos of the work we enjoyed from the Venice Biennale 2019. Featuring: Carol Bove, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Zanele Muholi, Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir / Shoplifter, and Lorenzo Quinn.

   poster       Carol Bove Njikeka Akunyili Crosby      Zanele Muholi

               Zhanna Kadyrova    Hrafnhildur Arnardttir Shoplifter    Lorenzo Quinn

 

The mystery of the missing sign

On a dark and stormy Autumn night, something spooky was happening on the A56 at Wysick Hill, between Earby and Thornton-in-Craven.  A newly installed boundary sign, created by Yorkshire photographic artist Mary Woolf, mysteriously disappeared, leaving only the solitary pole it had been mounted on. It was one of 16 boundary signs commissioned by FrancisKnight on behalf of Craven District Council for Great Places Lakes & Dales (GPLD) that were installed in September. 

The unexplained vanishing was marked by artist Philip M Jonathan, whose drawing of the melancholic, lonely pole left behind, raised the question – who removed it?  And why?

A Craven District Council spokesman said: “We’re still investigating the mystery of the missing sign. If it is not returned then we will have to consider replacing it."

Stolen, borrowed, or simply lost? As chilling winter mist descends on the landscape, fifteen signs remain. For now….or will the phantom strike again? 

Watch……this……..space!01 sign

The Two of Us

October 2019 marks 15 years in business - an achievement worth celebrating....

Here we reflect on past projects and how we have changed!

For our first project FrancisKnight were appointed by ArtOffice and Medway Council to work with international artist John Newling on the public art project Chatham Vines in St John’s Church, Chatham which went on to win the Rouse Kent Public Art Award for 2006.  

2008, FrancisKnight were commissioned by Maidstone Borough Council to deliver Art at the Centre, an Arts Council England, South East pioneering awards scheme.

In 2009, FrancisKnight were appointed Project Managers for Leysdown Rose-tinted, working alongside Swale Borough Council to lead and deliver an arts in regeneration scheme on the eastern tip of the Isle of Sheppey, Kent. The project subsequently received a Certificate of Commendation from the Royal Society of Public Health, Health and Art Awards 2010.

Working with artist Nicole Mollett and Cathy Bird on a community workshop for Leysdown Rose-tinted.

2012:  Pop-up arts space project with Making Art Work, Union Street, Maidstone.

November 2014, public art commission for Gravesham Borough Council: artist Douglas Jennings (ARBS) bronze statue of Squadron Leader Mahinder Singh Pujji reflecting his days of service in the RAF. The Pujji Memorial received The Marsh Award for Excellence in Public Sculpture 2015.

2015, IN-SITE public art project, studio visit to see artist Nicola Flower. The project subsequently received the Culture, Design and Tourism Award 2015 for Visual Arts.

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                                           And now...

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Find out more about the secrets of our successful business partnership in our Linkedin article 

 

 

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