HoW College students take a fresh look at one of Redditch’s greatest treasures!
24 April 2023
Students from Heart of Worcestershire College have been taking a fresh look at one of Redditch’s greatest treasures, the Paolozzi Mosaics in Kingfisher Shopping Centre, as part of a new initiative to get young people involved in our local heritage.
Installed 40 years ago, the mosaics were designed by pioneering pop artist Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, and funded and commissioned by Redditch Development Corporation, the Needles Industry Group and the Arts Council of Great Britain. The brief stipulated “a feature/artwork related to the most significant industry base within Redditch, namely, needles”. The finished artwork was characteristic of his style, incorporating collage, vibrant colour, rhythmic lines and abstracted forms. He went on to design the mosaics at Tottenham Court Road tube station on the London Underground.
Working with Coventry arts organisation Ludic Rooms, Creative Digital Media students based at the Bromsgrove campus are using their design skills and augmented reality to reimagine the mosaics for a new generation. Their new work will be shared with the public in situ using a free app on mobile phones on Friday 21 April.
As Dom Breadmore, co-Artistic Director of Ludic Rooms explains: "Collage was an important aspect of Paolozzi's arts practice and we've been using augmented reality as a kind of contemporary collage, layering up old and new imagery inspired by the mosaics. It's been such a privilege to work with the students from HoW College and the other partners on this project to get creative and explore what these iconic pieces of public art mean to local people 40 years after their installation."
Sal Friel, Head of Student Support and Wellbeing at HoW College said:
“This is such an exciting opportunity for our students to not only gain valuable industry experience by working with industry experts, but to also develop an app that will change the way anyone can view the amazing Paolozzi mosaics. It’s been a pleasure to see our students working with such creativity and enthusiasm and further develop their digital skills.”
Fiona Faizey, Interim General Manager at Kingfisher Shopping Centre, commented: “We’re delighted to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Paolozzi Mosaics at Kingfisher Redditch. The Mosaics in Milward Square are a very much-loved part of Kingfisher and a great example of art history preserved in the centre so it’s fantastic to be working with the team to create this new AR installation that sees the Mosaics elevated even further.”
The project has come about as a result of the work of the North-East Worcestershire Cultural Compact, a new network of organisations working together to increase participation and involvement with local culture and heritage amongst residents of Redditch and Bromsgrove. Empowering young people to steer and shape this offer is at the heart of the Compact’s ambitions. The Compact’s second full conference took place at Avoncroft Museum of Historic Buildings in Bromsgrove on 28th March, with a focus on future planning.
Jonathan Cochrane, Activity & Creativity Lead Redditch Borough and Bromsgrove District Councils, added:
“We are delighted for the Cultural Compact to have been able to support this project. The Paolozzi mosaics are an incredible cultural heritage asset of Redditch - but also perhaps its best kept secret. This project is just the beginning of our plans to enable to young people to take a lead in interpreting and curating the stories we have to tell here in North-East Worcestershire.”