ACAVA Artists Community-led Heritage Engagement Trail

ACAVA Artists Community-led Heritage Engagement Trail is a project by ACAVA in collaboration with Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Historic England, bringing local artists and community groups together to reflect and amplify the heritage of specific sites in Stoke-upon-Trent. The project is part of the High Street Heritage Action Zone and partly funded by the Stoke HSHAZ Scheme.

ACAVA is working with six artists based at ACAVA Spode Works Studios to take inspiration from Stoke-upon-Trent high street and the Spode Works site and to co-create visual installations in local windows and doors in collaboration with local community groups.

The project aims to inspire the public to rediscover the town and the high street through impactful artworks inspired by local heritage.

The commissioned artists are Amy Davies, Nicky Griffiths, Darren Washington, Katrina Wilde and Nadine Wilde. Tom Karklins from Atom Productions has been commissioned to document the project.

Tom Karklins from Atom Productions has created a documentary-style film about the project combining new footage with archive footage from the museum to express the cultural history of the Spode Works site and the surrounding area of Stoke-upon-Trent.

Amy Davis‘ practice focuses on upcycling and reusing materials. She will work alongside the MendNotTrend community group to reimagine purposes for discarded building materials found on the Spode Works site and Stoke-upon-Trent high street. The resulting artefacts will celebrate local heritage and sustainability.

Nicky Griffiths is a longarm quilter who will be taking inspiration from Minton House, Old Stoke Library, Stoke Minster, and other local heritage sites, to create a large medallion quilt. The quilt will become a road map of the local area and highlight places of historical interest that have made a lasting impact on the artist. Nicky will be working with students from Willows Primary School to co-create the final piece.

Darren Washington is a local photographer who will be working with former Spode Works employees to produce a series of new portraits about their time working at the factory and their memories of the town.

Katrina Wilde plans to use printmaking, natural dying, drawing and other hand processes to create a large scale textile work that will tell a story of resilience and creativity. She will draw inspiration from the Spode Museum Archive, and the plants, textures and objects found in the immediate Spode Works site. Katrina will collaborate with students from Newcastle College to co-create the final design.

Nadine Wilde is a handweaver and textile artist who will produce a series of handwoven responses inspired by the immediate local architecture, surface pattern and forms that make up the immediate buildings and landscape. She is working with local community group Amity Hub on weaving workshops that will in turn inform and become part of a larger series of responses.

High Street Heritage Action Zone’s partners:
Stoke-on-Trent City Council
Historic England

High Street Heritage Action Zone participants:
B-Arts (Lead)
British Ceramics Biennial
Festival Stoke
Spode Museum Trust
Potteries Heritage Society
Spode Rose Garden