On the Verge gift of artwork boards to three schools

Date Posted:28/11/2017

The OTV project ‘Underpasses: connecting people, connecting places’ was a means of engaging 4 of the oldest estates around CMK in the unique heritage of MK. OTV did this by successfully commissioning the following for MK50:

  • artists to undertake community engagement and produce 2 artworks together with interpretation panels for the underpasses connecting Conniburrow to Downs Barn, and Fishermead to Oldbrook.
  • an interpretation panel for the underpass connecting CMK to Campbell Park, to celebrate Boyd and Evans’ painting ‘Underpass’  1982
  • an interpretation panel for the Secklow Mound, the Anglo Saxon historic meeting place in CMK.

The project also produced a number of items to introduce and sustain interest in MK heritage including :

  • 2 publications for children aged 5-16,
  • a Heritage App
  • an ‘MK Heritage Trails’ leaflet for a guided tour of the architecture in the 4 estates
  • a Children’s Activity Trail covering all 4 of the estates
  • a set of four postcards which are being distributed from CMK Library.

As part of the OTV project, the artwork entitled ‘The Tree Colonnade: Ode to Helmut Jacoby’ was created by the French artist Laure Ledard as 8 large panels which were installed in the Fishermead/ Oldbrook underpass. The art work and interpretation panels were unveiled in April 2017 but unfortunately, after 6 months, OTV had to make the difficult decision to permanently remove the artwork because of repeated vandalism.  

In agreement with HLF, OTV has reimagined the artwork panels onto a single board which will be installed in each local infant and primary schools and at the Campbell Park Parish Council meeting places on the two estates. To introduce the board to the 3 schools, MK50  Writer in Residence, Rachel Barnett visited each school for a reading session of the OTV’s reprinted children’s publication: ‘Travelling in Time’.  She gave a copy of the publication and of the specially produced Children’s Activity Trail leaflet to each school child.

The feedback from the school sessions has been incredibly positive, with Julie Kemp from Willows Infants School in Fishermead saying, ‘It was exciting for The Willows to participate in the MK50 celebrations as part of the ‘On the Verge’ project. We were delighted when Rachel came in to read her book. Our families are proud to live in this area, so the panel created out of our children’s imaginations will be displayed where it can be shared with the whole Willows community.’

An A5 size special edition postcard was created by graphic designer Daniel Chehade to be delivered to local households in the 4 estates showing Helmut Jacoby’s influence on the future landscaping of Milton Keynes and explaining why the artwork was withdrawn. Rachel Barnett wrote the poem below for a sign to be installed at the underpass:

what once was planted here
no longer stands.
but as with trees,
the seeds
have flown,
and elsewhere, now,
new trees
are grown.

On the Verge was able to deliver the ‘Underpasses’ project with funding from: the Heritage Lottery Fund, MK Community Foundation and MK Council as well as support from Project Partners, MK Council, The Parks Trust and MK City Discovery Centre.

If you would like any further information on the project go to On The Verge website: http://www.ontheverge.org.uk