Signs of Life 1995 - 2005

A public art project for young people at Bromley by Bow Centre

My Role as founder of the project was to lead it for ten years, Signs of Life was then successfully led for a further five years by artist Chris Warmington. Here are some of the projects achieved and outcomes:

  • One of our projects was to work with Leaside Planning, to develop ideas and consult with the local community, that was part of a masterplan for the Bow Roundabout, This masterplan won the Mayor’s Award for Sustainable and Environmental Planning

  • Many murals and banner projects for health, charitable, educational and commercial organisations.

  • Offering an alternative to young people in ‘at risk environments’

  • A focus on creative skills, and completing public commissions rather than traditional youth work

  • Embracing complexity

  • Growing up in soulless environments, young people are encouraged to be critical and think creatively, by realising ambitious projects

  • Believing the positive development of young people depends on us looking forward and taking risks

  • Often young people were immersed in chaotic social, family and school environments; the project embraced this complexity seeing it as a positive opportunity if harnessed

Outcomes

  • Young people involved in regeneration.

  • Running their own enterprise.

  • Learning skills such as:- thinking outside the box, starting with a blank sheet of paper, teamwork, using imagination, storytelling.

  • Creating opportunities for local businesses to invest in young people.

  • Examples of companies that were involved included: Rothschild, Tesco, Royal Sun Alliance.

  • Creating a strong community where we are still in touch with young people now in their twenties.

  • A project that still has a reputation that is deeply interested in people and relationships

  • Our young people have gone onto, running successful businesses and careers; a cafe on Roman Road, a manager at William Hill, in the police force, in schools, and engineering. The feedback is that the project played a small and significant part in this progression to success.

  • Creativity and entrepreneurship are trusted ideas

  • Small murals increase belonging and ownership, small/micro things are better than big things

Frank CreberComment