We are working on a colourful transformation emerging across St Pauls in Bristol.
This two-year collaboration between The Architecture Centre, St Pauls Learning Centre, Nudge Group, St Pauls Adventure Playground, Talo and the local people of St Pauls, sees the creation of a new walking and cycling route through one of Bristol’s most urban communities.
The route encourages pedestrians to take a less polluted route through St Pauls’: ‘The Green Way’ – in a time when engaging with green spaces and their value has never been so important.
The project started back in March 2019 with 12 months of community workshops and events, including street side engagement with young people along the Green Way route.
The project invites communities to explore the route from St Agnes Park to Halston Drive and take in the murals and public realm improvements at St Pauls Adventure Playground, St Pauls Learning Centre and the Halston Drive Community Room.
Local architect Shankari Raj from Nudge group worked with local people to think about how these spaces can be better connected through design.
In a ‘Making it Work(shop) local communities joined forces with local architects, planners and urban designers to co-design ideas for meaningful public realm improvements to their local neighbourhood. This resulted in successful fundraising for the project around the collaborative idea of The Green Way. Continuing the engagement with local communities the ‘What is Your Soul Food?’ digital campaign ran throughout the spring of 2020 and was a great opportunity for people to share recipes with neighbours in lockdown. There were over 50 recipes submitted and over 200 active members of the Facebook group.
The recipes submitted during the digital campaign have gone on to inspire permanent artworks on the Green Way which reflect and celebrate the diversity and culinary heritage of the area.
Murals are situated along a ‘Green Way’, re-connecting community hubs to their green spaces and creating places for communities to gather, eat and enjoy nature, celebrating the love for food in the area.
In spring this year, the project artists GRAFT (husband and wife team Sophie and Rob) worked with young people of St Pauls to design the murals inspired by the community recipes as well as running colouring competitions and street art tutorials digitally for children and young people 5- 17-year olds. The resulting murals feature many of the ingredients from the recipes, as well as references such as vine leaves, palms, banana leaves, hibiscus, chilli peppers and sweet chestnuts.
GRAFT painted murals at two community hubs. The designs are inspired by the local community, selected from over 50 submissions describing soul foods that represent the diverse communities of St Pauls.
Tara Miran’s Dolma recipe is featured at Halston Drive Community Room;
‘To have my Kurdish Dolma recipe as a permanent feature in the local community is a recognition of my culture. In some places around the world, Kurdish food, culture and practices are forbidden, so having this Dolma recipe for all the community to see and share feels like an act of love and acknowledgement for my Kurdish roots. It is a celebration of the love for food amongst the different communities of St Pauls.’