The project started as a self funded experiment in Stokes Croft in Bristol, an area where for many years activists and artists have struggled to expose the injustice of gentrification. By giving the community an opportunity to work side by side with people with whom they wouldn't have otherwise communicated, I realised the potential to explore public expression and relationships between strangers.
A bricked or tiled area is chosen, then across one or more 14 day sessions, local people are invited to paint one brick each with support from an artist facilitator. Anything based on the experiences of people living in or passing through the location can be rendered within the allotted brick or tile. The project intends to give the people a piece of the town, a personalised cultural segment that is entirely theirs. Materials are provided for them to paint anything they want; simple or detailed, written or drawn.
Any space that is divided into bricks or tiles is appropriate for the project, which can be adapted for almost any available space that would reach a large cross section of people. I like to focus on sites that appear decayed, overgrown and unloved but are still used by a variety of people. By inviting those who pass through and inhabit areas to make a permanent painted piece they are encouraged to freely express themselves, improvising an image to inspire hope and commitment to the future of the community. This creates a permanent piece that will not only be considered an attraction but a source of pride for those who take part in its development.