An exciting new participatory public art project is underway

Reading artists and local organisations and groups are being invited to work together to develop designs for a new three-dimensional public art piece. The final piece will be sited in a prominent location in a new residential development on Weldale Street, Reading.

The first phase of the new development, known as Domain, will provide 253 apartments for rent. It will include one, two, and three-bedroom apartments, resident lounges, workstations, a gymnasium, and private landscaped areas. Construction will be complete Spring 2022. 

The Developers, Crossmark, are taking a less usual approach to public art in the development by involving local artists and the local community in the process from the outset.

Mark Lewis, Crossmark, said ‘we’re very aware that public art can end up being parachuted in and we wanted to do something different. We wanted to be able to deliver a high-quality public art piece through an inclusive, collaborative, and participatory process that builds connections and helps to weave the new building into the local fabric. We’re very grateful to the local organisations that have been working with us to help develop this process.’

Representatives from Jelly, Open Hand Open Space and Reading Museum have been working with Crossmark’s appointed Project Manager, Redport, on project details and the Project Launch will take place on 13 October, 5.30pm to 8pm at Reading Biscuit Factory.

The launch will be an informal event at Reading’s newest venue, the Reading Biscuit Factory. It will give local artists and organisations interested in participating an opportunity to explore the project theme, Our Domain, discuss ideas with potential project partners and meet the Project Team.

Suzanne Stallard, Jelly, commented ‘This is a very exciting opportunity for an artist or Reading-based creative collaboration. What makes this opportunity stand out from others, is that by working together with the mentors this is a chance to take your work to a different place, experience making a public art piece and be supported, whatever your experience, background or practice. Reading has a strong cultural and diverse community and I am very excited by the possibilities of working together, particularly with groups who have never approached work in this way before, and to hear a divergence of voices’.

If you would like to attend the project launch, please register as soon as possible.