Somerset Art Works has been delivering a programme of community engagement activities in North Taunton through the Our Place project since 2014.
Our creative programme in North Taunton encourages people to explore their neighbourhoods, identify opportunities to improve the local environment for play, attractiveness, ecological diversity and health and wellbeing.
Our aims are to develop:
Sustainable community environments, places and spaces
Our programme for 2019/2020 includes:
Woolaway Reminiscence Project
A 12 month reminiscence project with artist Carolyn Lefley and Somerset Art Works
Council-built, structurally defective Woolaway houses are being demolished and rebuilt on an estate in North Taunton. Artist Carolyn Lefley will engage with residents and their families, to listen to, record and archive their memories during this time of change.
Project blog: https://woolawaystories.
During informal meetings and conversations over a cup of tea, residents will be invited to share their stories about life over the years in the North Taunton Woolaway houses. The project will engage with residents, and their families, to listen to their memories and potentially photograph homes or gardens.
The final output of the project will celebrate personal stories and shared social history, ideas will evolve in collaboration with residents.
Create + Place
Somerset Art Works was out and about in Priorswood and Halcon throughout 2019, delivering family friendly creative workshops and community consultation in Priorswood and Halcon as part of the new Create + Place project with Somerset West and Taunton Council and Fuse.
Somerset Art Works ran Create + Place workshops in Priorswood during December, lovely to witness all ages taking part and making seasonal table decorations. We welcomed family groups, toddlers, teenagers, older members of the community, sibling groups making a present for mum and parents grabbing a few minutes to be creative themselves – very exciting to see what everyone made! Watch our little 1.5 minute film made by SAW Arts Assistant Hannah Earl
Our summer 2019 workshop artists included Megan Players (paper, paint and clay workshops) and Print House – an initiative led by sixth form students from South Dartmoor College who run screen printing workshops for young people.
Funded by Somerset West and Taunton Council and Arts Council England.
Lyngford film – Youth Project
Lyngford film is a community based youth project encouraging young people from the Priorswood area and users of Lyngford Park to have their say about where they live and share their concerns and hopes for the future.
Drop in film making workshops were run by Aphra Evans and Sarah Langley through the spring and summer of 2019. These are the films the young people made.
Project blog for more information: https://lyngfordfilm.wordpress.com/
A Somerset Art Works project with funding from Arts Council England, Somerset Crimebeat Trust, Somerset West and Taunton Council. Supported by North Taunton One Team, North Taunton PCSOs, Priorswood Community Centre.
Lyngford Labyrinth – Wild flower meadow labyrinth on Lyngford Park.
See our 2 minute film made by Reuben Jelley at the popular Pride in Priorswood summer activity days organised by Priorswood Community Centre. Somerset Art Works’ artists Christopher Jelley, Sarah Langley and Flora Arbuthnott led free creative activities for families.
Somerset Art Works artist Emma Finch worked with Priorswood Community Centre to celebrate their 20th anniversary. Through collaboration with the community history group and volunteers, Emma collected images and stories from the area to create a commemorative textile wall hanging and celebration mugs which visually link the community centre to the history of the local area, raising awareness of it’s role as a welcoming hub for all the community.
In 2017 we continued our work in the area with new funding from the Postcode Local Trust to engage with local people to collectively improve community spaces.
In 2016 Somerset Art Works successfully gained a Pocket Park grant to work with the communities of North Taunton and Taunton Deane Borough Council to improve and refresh a run-down play area known locally as ‘The Cage’. Through wildlife-friendly planting and community engagement activities we aim to transform an ugly, underused public space into somewhere that can be enjoyed and appreciated by all ages.
Full details on the Blackthorn Gardens Pocket park Click Here
2014-15 Project Work was funded by The People’s Health Trust, an independent charity addressing health inequalities across Great Britain. Taunton Deane Borough Council and Arts Council England also provided funding and project work included:
- Craftivist Garden workshops with Nina Gronw-Lewis
- Partnering Somerset Wildlife Trust on the Routes to the River Tone Project in North Taunton – Nature street art, guerilla art trail, family fun days in the park, artists working in public spaces.
- Community Gardening project in North Taunton with Sarah Langley
- Film and documentation of project work with Somerset Film
- Community Weave Bombing and Consultation at the Pride in Priorswood events, summer
- A course of Weaving Workshops with Penny Wheeler, through the Z-Twist project
More project documentation is on our you tube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/websitesaw/videos
Somerset Art Works artist Emma Finch working with Priorswood Community Centre to celebrate their 20th anniversary.
Somerset Art Works worked in collaboration with Somerset Wildlife Trust on the Routes to the River Tone Project in Taunton in 2015.
In this section:
- Routes to the River Tone with Somerset Wildlife Trust
- Lyngford Labyrinth
- Pride in Priorswood Community Consultation Days
- Priorswood Community Centre – Celebrating 20 Years
- Weaving Workshops at Priorswood Community Centre
- Weave Bombing and Pom Poms
- Craftivist Garden
- Blackthorn Gardens Pocket Park
- North Taunton Community Gardening Project