Artlink project lights up Spring Bank

Since 2018, Artlink, a participatory arts company based in Hull, has been working with its communities to bring art to the streets.

As one of the city’s most diverse high streets, Spring Bank, has seen a series of visual art projects taking place over the years. Through these projects, Artlink hopes to celebrate the area and the community, by working with the local residents to liven up their streetscape.

In order to develop an art project that belonged to the Spring Bank community, lead/concept artist, Shaz Darley worked with local artist Dave Okwesia and Artlink creative producer Magda Moses, on a consultation in which they spoke to over 700 people from the area, over a 3 month period to gather ideas.

47% of people said that they would like to see more colour and coloured lights and in June 2019, hundreds of Hull residents took part in selecting the Spring Bank colour palette, ‘True Colours’.

Members of the Spring Bank community talked about their strong sense of togetherness and identity, which Artlink wanted to represent.

This scheme has been used in a series of projects, developing a truly unique aesthetic and community feel to the area. There are many assets to this campaign: Shaz Darley’s True Colours of Spring Bank, Skeg’s Spring Bank Mural and micro-commissions from other local artists.

As the project drew to a close, and in direct response to the consultation, LED neons were planned to be installed along the carriageway. Shaz and Magda worked closely with Hull City Council’s Highways Department and naturally turned to KWL for assistance. In December through to January, our street lighting team installed 14 LED Neons to existing street lighting columns along the east bound carriageway.

Shaz Darley comments:

“From start to finish, this project was a joy to work on. I felt honoured and privileged to be the lead-artist on such a large-scale participatory arts project in my home city. The Spring Bank community welcomed us and our consultation from day one with open arms. There were many challenges to overcome along the way, as there always is in a complex project such as this, not to mention Covid-19. But against all the odds and throughout the planning, KWL were our go-to guys for the lighting. John Shann generously shared his expertise and knowledge throughout, making a significant contribution to the final ‘look’ of this quarter-mile long lighting installation. The KWL team worked hard to physically install them during a lockdown, and we literally couldn’t have done it without them.”

John Shann, Manager at KWL Street Lighting says:

“As our Electrical and Street Lighting teams are responsible for installing the Christmas lights in Hull, we were approached by Shaz Darley to install this collection of lights. We love helping the community and feel very proud to have contributed towards the magnificent display on Spring Bank.

“You can see for yourself that this project has been a great success, we feel privileged to be part of this caring community.”

With thanks to funders, assistance, coverage, support and kindness:

KWL, Applelec, Back to ours Hull, Crown Paints UK, Places for People, Humberside Police, Anne Marie Tasker (BBC Look North), Angus Young (Hull Daily Mail), Aneesa Akbar and Shane McMurray.

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