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Turning Hoarding into Heritage, with U+I

by Radha Sudra

In May 2019, we teamed up with U+I to help them create a design-based hoarding project around the Faraday Industrial site in Charlton.
Why a hoarding project? Hoarding is often regarded as temporary and disposable part of a site during the construction phase but there is a window of opportunity to positively engage with the local community around the site using creative and innovative hoarding.

Engaging the local community to help design hoarding allows them to have a voice and more importantly, start to view a project in a positive light that will benefit their area rather than something imposing and disruptive that will last several years.

We reached out to local schools within the area, both primary and secondary to see any potential interest in getting the children who grew up in the area involved. Together with Windrush Primary School and Royal Greenwich Trust School we organised workshops for the hoarding design alongside local Community Interest Company, Art Hub, who offer artist studios, gallery space and workshops to artists.

As Woolwich is Art Hub’s headquarters, with facilities specialising in printmaking, ceramics and woodwork, it was decided that the workshops would focus on how prints could be used for the hoarding. The overall theme for the hoarding was heritage – to celebrate the industrial estate’s rich history and the area surrounding the site.

Prior to the workshops for printmaking, each school was taken around the site and local area to sketch and gain inspiration for their designs and printmaking. The workshops were run by Art Hub, teaching the children how to cut and create stamps for printmaking using rubber and ink. Each student had the chance to use their inspiration and older images of the industrial estate to come up with several prints which would be used for the hoarding. All printworks were then collected by Art Hub after the workshops and taken to be properly developed at their headquarters for the final hoarding design to be processed by U+I.

The best and most rewarding aspect about the workshops and site visits was seeing how engaged and keen the young people were in participating and designing their prints, and also learning and understanding the local heritage of the area.

If you take a trip to Charlton be sure to pop over and visit the amazing hoarding piece created by the schools, filled with heritage, placemaking, lots of fun and love.

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