Work started quickly to make the site safe – the big hole where the shopping centre was meant to be remains closed off with hoardings, but now they’re a nice shade of green, and Gideon is working to get local artists and schools to create images on them. He said, ‘It’s not enough to just create an empty green space, although obviously that’s an improvement. We want to make something that gives people a sense of ownership and a reason to linger – through artworks and murals, installations, sculptures and garden features – and also through activities and events, with live music, theatre and film , as well as informal gatherings, busking, partying, and so on.’
Weather permitting (i.e. if it rains enough for the grass to establish) the ‘Bradford Urban Garden’ will be open to the public from 9th July.
It will be a bit longer before art works and events take shape, though – Fabric have been given a contract to manage the space (with the support of an Advisory Group so that local creative and commmunity experts can input into plans), but need to raise money to make things happen. So, Gideon is busy talking to businesses about sponsoring artworks and activities, to schools about images for the hoardings and about a logo design competition, to arts organisations about the things they can bring and to anyone else who wants to make things happen in the space.
You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’ve got an idea for something you’d like to do to turn Bradford’s former ‘wastefield’ into a creative and animated space that local people can enjoy. Or if you want to keep updated when events on site are planned, join the Bradford Urban Garden facebook group or subscribe to Fabric’s E-bulletin by emailing email@example.com