Paint the Change win Creative Land Trust’s Public Art Commission celebrating creativity in Stratford, the London Borough of Newham.
Paint the Change has been commissioned to create a public artwork project for Creative Land Trust, as part of their award from the Mayor of London’s High Streets for All Challenge. In the run-up to the activation of Alice Billings House as a new complex of studios and public facing events space, this project will use art and culture to engage and give voice to local communities while creating a sense of interest, intrigue, engagement, and excitement that animates Stratford High Street.
Paint the Change will engage and work with the community including local school children, residents, artists and designers, to create a series of portraits created and celebrated by the people of Newham.
The artworks will be distributed around Stratford High Street, across the borough of Newham and online, representing residents by looking at creativity in the borough, and considering its past, present and future. The project and its programme will run from May 2022 for two years.
After receiving 16 applications Creative Land Trust awarded the project to Paint The Change on the basis of a competitive selection process with a panel that includes Rosana Antolí (Newham based Visual Artist), Yves Blais (Operations Manager, Creative Land Trust), Hazel Durrant (Head of Operations, UD Music), Shahnaze Faneker (Newham based Visual Artist and Art Leader, art-K Greenwich), Rosie Niblock (Communications Executive, Creative Land Trust), and Kevin Twyford (Principal Landscape Architect, London Borough of Newham).
The public artwork project is made possible by grant funding awarded to Creative Land Trust as part of the High Streets for All Challenge, part of the Mayor of London’s mission to kickstart innovative high street recovery strategies and underpin the public re-imagining of high streets and town centres across London. The challenge will enhance public spaces and exciting new uses for underused high street buildings in every London borough.
Creative Land Trust is working to better serve artists, creatives, and the local community in Newham through the refurbishment of Alice Billings House a disused Grade II listed building just behind Stratford Town Hall. Restoration of the building leased by London Borough Newham will provide affordable studio spaces, but also activation of associated space for public use, generating a community asset around a café and exhibition space.
Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz OBE, London Borough of Newham
“Congratulations to Paint The Change for being awarded this commission, this commission is a great opportunity for Newham to work with artists and creatives to reflect our people, community, and heritage. Our work with Creative Land Trust will be a key part in revitalising Stratford High Street and the surrounding area, supporting our ambitious cultural strategy demonstrating how creative and cultural industries can contribute to our Community Wealth Building agenda. I want Newham to be a key part of London’s cultural identity, a destination, and home, for cultural tourism and creative organisations.“
Jules Pipe, Deputy Mayor for Planning, Regeneration and Skills, Greater London Authority
“Alice Billings House will be a new creative hub for East London, providing 26 studios for local artists and makers alongside a public facing event space. Paint the Change’s proposal will draw people through the high street and on to the site, and the improved public realm will act as a new hub for activities to benefit local people, the neighbourhood and the high street.”
“This is just one of the great initiatives we’re supporting through the High Streets for All Challenge. Delivering on the London Recovery Board’s High Streets for All mission, the Challenge is supporting exciting projects across the city that are leading the way with ideas and solutions for the future of our high streets.”
Maziar Bahari, Director, Paint the Change
“It is an honour to be able to work with residents of Newham and Creative Land Trust on this exciting project. Paint the Change believes public art must reflect a community’s ideas and emotions and give the residents a sense of ownership of their public space. We will work with communities across the borough to celebrate ordinary heroes of Newham, nurses, doctors, firefighters, teachers, social workers, and others who make our world a better place in portraits that will be posted across the borough.”
Yves Blais, Operations Manager, Creative Land Trust
“We are delighted that Paint the Change will embark on this project with us. Not only will it begin to signpost the imminent creative activation that will take place in Stratford’s town centre at the Alice Billings House studios, but it will give local people the opportunity to create works of art that celebrate people and reflect the spirit of the borough and its community.”
High Streets for All Challenge
The High Streets for All Challenge is a key programme within the London Recovery Board’s High Streets for All mission, inviting local partnerships to propose and co-design innovative high-street recovery strategies. Addressing common and local challenges, strategies are expected to engage local people. These can support an entire high street or focus on an innovative, exemplar high street recovery project.
With support from the London Economic Action Partnership (LEAP), from June 2021 and into 2022-23, £4m of funding and expert advice will be provided to support local partnerships to respond to the challenges faced by London’s high streets and town centres.
More information on the High Streets for All Challenge can be found here: https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/regeneration/funding-opportunities/high-streets-all-challenge