Building community bridges with bamboo
Bridge2bamboo is an ambitious community-focussed art initiative that has partnered with Redcar's annual flagship event Festival of Thrift to bring a national participatory public art project to the local area.
The inclusive project will draw on artistic and engineering expertise, and will centre around local residents designing, testing and building a large bamboo structure. Community groups, as well as a newly selected apprentice, will take part in a series of workshops and learn new skills to create a functional structure that will be a focal point of this year's Festival of Thrift, due to be held at Kirkleatham in September.
Community participants will co-design the structure and determine what its function will be at the festival and beyond - placing the possibilities in their hands. It will be up to the participants to decide what they make and may be anything from a community performance venue like a bandstand, a meeting space like a mini town hall or a young people’s hang out like a bus stop. The structure will be demountable and will go on to be in residence in one of the communities where it was made.
Project organisers, including Yorkshire-based artist/engineer Pete Guson, will engage with local groups to encourage skills sharing, raise aspirations, connect communities and build a legacy.
As this is a nationwide initiative, it will also connect Redcar artists with national and international experts in the use of bamboo as a sustainable creative material, thereby transferring skills and helping the local arts community - one that has be heavily impacted over the past 18 months.