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Archive for the ‘Stories’ Category

KWMC awarded grant from the Culture Recovery Fund

This week we received the welcome news that KWMC has been awarded a grant from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund.

It’s been just over a year since the first UK lockdown, when we had to temporarily close the doors of Knowle West Media Centre and move activities online. We’re currently making preparations to reopen our buildings, in line with government COVID guidance.

Support from the Culture Recovery fund will enable us to make urgent repairs to KWMC and adapt our spaces so we can manage social distancing and safely welcome people back to use our facilities and meet others.

It will also help us cover unavoidable losses of income that were incurred while our buildings were closed, and enable us to develop programmes to support artists, many of whom have faced reductions in their work and income during the last year.

Thanks to support from the Culture Recovery Fund, we’re looking forward to reopening our buildings and providing safe and welcoming spaces where people can develop new skills, build their confidence and collaborate with others to create positive change.

About the Culture Recovery Fund

More than £300 million has been awarded to thousands of cultural organisations across the country in the latest round of support from the Culture Recovery Fund, to help organisations plan for reopening and recovery after months of venue closures and cancellations.

Arts Council England – the national development agency for creativity and culture – is one of the bodies administering the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund, as well as Historic England and National Lottery Heritage Fund and the British Film Institute.

Find out more here.

MADE in South Bristol – Liz’s Story

In November 2020 the MADE in South Bristol programme kicked off with its first series of workshops: ‘Exploring Creative Enterprise’. MADE is a creative programme at KWMC The Factory that has been designed to support residents and small businesses in South Bristol to explore the potential of digital manufacturing and enterprise.

Liz, who has lived in Bristol for 12 years and is a member of KWMC The Factory, was one of the participants who signed up to the scheme. Liz, who works in education, doesn’t describe herself as a full-time artist but enjoys making work that creates imaginative, whimsical, and playful ways for people to engage with science in her joint enterprise ‘Wisterlitz’.

Liz explains how her hobby has recently become more dominant in her life, particularly as she has become more involved with KWMC and digital making. 

“I was introduced to the MADE programme after taking part in Positive Negative Positive [a 2D design course] which was also run by The Factory. 

“I am the sort of person who says yes to things because you don’t know what is going to happen once you’ve said yes… it’s even better if it turns out great and you can get something good out of it.”  

Getting involved

Liz took part in the Exploring Creative Enterprise strand of MADE, which offers an introduction to product design and running a business, and has been designed for people, like Liz, who have a creative interest or hobby and are interested in exploring its potential as a business or selling what they make. 

Liz explains: “At the beginning of MADE, I was keen to find different ways of earning a living with a sense of meaning, thinking particularly about how to live sustainably. Originally, I had an idea that I could start up a shop that would sell sustainable art materials, and then I realised that I wasn’t a shop keeper in that way. 

“When I was participating in MADE, I was also in the process of selling and buying a house, [It] made me realise there is a lot of ‘stuff’ in the world. I was having to throw away things that I couldn’t re-home or had reached the end of their life.”  

Liz’s idea

Combining her interests in digital making and sustainability Liz was able to refine her ideas through the MADE programme. 

“My idea is to do with sustainable art materials, thinking about how to support people with sustainable making, how to make conscious decisions with their materials, and what they do with their waste.

“Essentially every one of us needs to look at how we approach materials, how we treat raw materials, and how we treat waste to get some sort of sustainable culture going on. I think art and making is an area where there is a lot of awareness going on but not a huge number of things are available for people to make really easy choices.”  


During the MADE sessions Liz was able to think about what was important to her: “I was able to re-evaluate what is important to me in a shareable space. I also enjoyed giving myself time to reflect and think about my ideas.  

“Originally, my three core values were creativity, curiosity, and learning. These three things are important to me and have driven my whole professional life. But then I thought about my idea and realised that my overarching values are sustainability, democracy, and respect. 

“From our group evaluation, respect was the main value… it is all about respect! Respect for the environment, respect for people, and respect for materials.”   

Following her experience on the MADE programme, Liz is continuing to explore her idea. She says: 

“Initially I was concerned that what I had created wasn’t a business or if it was it wasn’t something, I would like to run myself. But being able to come up with ways to deal with waste materials such as acrylics is developmental, experimental, and programmatic. 

“The next steps for me are to have conversations with people at The Factory and other similar places whose resources are required for me to develop my idea, to discuss the impact, the commercial potential of the idea, and to continue researching.” 

When asked if she would recommend MADE to a friend? Liz replied: “definitely!” 

More Info

MADE in South Bristol is free to take part in and is open to people ages 18+ in South Bristol who:

  • Don’t (currently) run a business and want to explore entrepreneurship
  • Have an existing creative business, or are a sole trader or freelancers looking for advice and guidance to grow.

The programme provides 12 hours of support through workshops, mentoring and coaching.

There are two programmes available, each tailored to support people at different stages of their enterprise journey.

Exploring Creative Enterprise (Pre-start): For beginners and those ready to kick-start a business and explore creative enterprise. This strand is especially designed for individuals who are currently not running a business but interested in starting one. The course provides a guided introduction to the design processes, streamlined approach to business basics, space to explore and prototype your ideas. Next course starts February 2021.

Business Support (Existing businesses): For creative businesses, sole traders and freelancers currently trading looking for support to grow their business and ideas. Includes a mix of one-to-one business diagnostics, individual coaching and workshops. Begins March 2021.

MADE in South Bristol is delivered by KWMC The Factory as part of South Bristol Enterprise Support (SBES), which is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and West of England Combined Authority Investment Fund. SBES is delivered in partnership by Bristol City Council, YTKO, School for Social Entrepreneurs, The Prince’s Trust and KWMC The Factory. 

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Share your stories of being ‘Active in Lockdown’

Did you become more physically active during the first COVID-19 lockdown in 2020?

Are you making an effort to stay active in the 2021 lockdown?

If so, we’d love to hear from you!

Active in Lockdown is a new project by the University of Bristol and Knowle West Media Centre that will explore our experiences of staying active during the COVID-19 pandemic, preserving them for people to look back on in the future.

We’re keen to hear and record your stories of cycling, running, walking or any form of human-powered mobility during lockdown! We’d love to hear a variety of stories and experiences from people who became more active during the first period of lockdown as well as people who are now trying to remain active in the dark winter months of the pandemic.

What’s the project about?

The project aims to document the huge surge in active leisure in Bristol and the surrounding area during England’s first lockdown (March – July 2020).

It will also record the stories of five Bristol residents who have discovered or returned to active leisure as they try to maintain their activity levels over the winter (January-March 2021).

To read more about the wider project, visit the University of Bristol website here.

Why are we doing this? 

We want to create a freely available digital archive of stories and experiences so that we can learn some immediate lessons from them and also have a historical record of how the COVID-19 pandemic has transformed people’s lives and relationship to the world around them.

Your stories would also be used to evaluate the physical and emotional benefits of active leisure and the difficulties of maintaining levels of activity when lockdown ended. This would then help us create a series of policy recommendations for Bristol City Council, the West of England Combined Authority (WECA), regional public health organisations, and other bodies interested in improving quality of life in the area.

What will I get out of it? 

As well as being part of a historical record of people’s experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic, you’ll be able to meet other people, develop your digital storytelling skills and document your lockdown activity through a series of interactive online film-making workshops.

We’ll support you to use your mobile phone and free (‘open source’) editing software to make your films, which will be shown in an online celebration screening at the end of the project! These workshops will take place from February 2021 – through to April 2021. 

Do you have questions?  Want to get involved? Contact Josephine Gyasi at KWMC via

Illustration of house with trees and buildings with people undertaking phsyical activity inside and outside of the house - walking, jogging, cycling and doing yoga

MADE in South Bristol – David’s Story

At the end of 2020, David saw a post about KWMC The Factory’s MADE in South Bristol business support programme on Facebook and applied to take part.  A member of Sing Out Bristol, the South West’s largest LGBT+ choir, David runs their website and social media pages as a volunteer, and is a part-time retail worker.

He had been searching for things that he could do in his spare time. He said, “I wasn’t necessarily ready to start my own business but the MADE in South Bristol advert came up on my Facebook, and I thought there is nothing to lose by signing up! I went in with no expectations and I thoroughly enjoyed it.”

David participated in the Exploring Creative Enterprise strand of MADE, which offers an introduction to product design and running a business, and has been designed for people who have creative interests or hobbies and would like to explore turning them into potential business ideas.

Thinking about the needs and interests of his choir, David was able to expand his ideas during the MADE programme, and as a result of learning about prototyping and making, he developed a business idea inspired by his hobby.

David’s Idea

David explains: “The idea I developed wasn’t my original idea coming into MADE. I enjoy making marketing videos for the choir, but then I thought about the merchandise. As a choir, we wear performance T-shirts and have been looking to expand our merchandising range. We used to use a service in Bristol that became unreliable. I realised that [exploring making] merchandise would be really interesting, after thinking about how you can make things.

“I realised there was a gap in the market for choir merchandising, and from my involvement with Sing Out Bristol I know what is needed – I have knowledge in that area.”


During the MADE sessions David thought about his core values, explaining that most members of the choir have experienced oppression or discrimination at some point in their lives.

He said: “My key value is to make my idea inclusive: inclusivity is the most important value to me, quickly followed by sustainability and being kind to the environment. I know that for most people in the choir they would feel passionate about my idea being developed into something that is naturally sourced. Members of the choir are interested in sustainability and sourcing things in eco-friendly ways. It is very important to them.”


When KWMC The Factory is able to reopen to the public, in line with COVID-19 regulations, David intends to make a prototype. He explains: “I intend to trial my idea with my choir after I have used The Factory’s applications to prototype my idea and understand the process of making. If the trial with my choir is successful, I would have an organic way of rolling it out, via word of mouth in the Bristol choir circuit.”

He concludes: “[MADE in South Bristol] was great because you got to mix with other people online, who are similar to you, who are all interested in learning. It helped a lot, having other people who were in the same boat. I learnt to be a bit more confident. For me MADE was a positive experience right from the word go, it was pitched just right for me and I enjoyed it.”

David has already recommended MADE to a friend!

You can see what David and the Sing Out Bristol choir have been up to by following them on Facebook at SingOutBristolChoir and Instagram and Twitter at SingOutBristol

More Info

MADE in South Bristol is a creative programme at KWMC The Factory designed to support residents and small businesses in South Bristol to explore the potential of digital manufacturing and enterprise.

MADE in South Bristol is free to take part in and is open to people ages 18+ in South Bristol who:

  • Don’t (currently) run a business and want to explore entrepreneurship
  • Have an existing creative business or are a sole trader or freelancer looking for advice and guidance to grow.

The programme provides 12 hours of support through workshops, mentoring, and coaching.  There are two programmes available, each tailored to support people at different stages of their enterprise journey.

Exploring Creative Enterprise (Pre-start): For beginners and those ready to kick-start a business and explore creative enterprise. This strand is specially designed for individuals who are currently not running a business but are interested in starting one. The course provides a guided introduction to the design processes, a streamlined approach to business basics, space to explore, and prototype your ideas. The next course starts in February 2021.

Business Support (Existing businesses): For creative businesses, sole traders and freelancers currently trading looking for support to grow their business and ideas. Includes a mix of one-to-one business diagnostics, individual coaching and workshops. Begins March 2021.

MADE in South Bristol is delivered by KWMC The Factory as part of South Bristol Enterprise Support (SBES), which is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and West of England Combined Authority Investment Fund. SBES is delivered in partnership by Bristol City Council, YTKO, School for Social Entrepreneurs, The Prince’s Trust, and KWMC The Factory.

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MADE in South Bristol 2021 – open for applications!  

 If you livin South Bristol and are interested in making, digital manufacturing or developing your own products and ideas, a new enterprise support programme at KWMC The Factory could be for you. 

MADE in South Bristol has two strands: Exploring Creative Enterprise for beginners, and Growing Creative Businesses for people with existing businesses. 

MADE kicked off in Autumn 2020 and its second round of Exploring Creative Enterprise sessions will run from 3 February 2021.  Applications are now open for people who are new to business and keen to learn more about making and how to turn creative hobbies and ideas into an enterprise!

Over 12 hours the team at our making and innovation space KWMC The Factory will guide participants through the product design process, cover the basics of business, and provide support in developing and testing ideas 

The first cohort of Exploring Creative Business took place in November and December 2020.  Since taking part, one of the participants has started exploring sustainable creative practices and how to re-use waste materials from making, such as acrylics.  She commented: “I was able to re-evaluate what is important to me in a shareable space. I also enjoyed giving myself time to reflect and think about my ideas.” 

Another participant developed an idea for sustainably-sourced branded clothing.  He said, “[MADE in South Bristol] was great because you got to mix with other people online, who are similar to you, who are all interested in learning […] MADE was a positive experience right from the word go, it was pitched just right for me and I enjoyed it.”    

 Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, MADE sessions will be delivered online until further notice, through interactive tools including an online whiteboard and video calls. To support at-home learning, participants are provided with workshop packs. 

Get involved!

Applications for the February – March 2021 round of Exploring Creative Business are now open and should be submitted by 23:59 on Thursday 28 January 2021. 




If you like the sound of MADE and already have a creative business, or you’re a sole trader or freelancer currently trading with a company registration number or Unique Tax Reference number, in early 2021 MADE will also be running the Growing Creative Business strand. 

Both strands of MADE in South Bristol are free to take part in and open to people aged 18+    


MADE in South Bristol is delivered by KWMC The Factory as part of South Bristol Enterprise Support (SBES), which is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and West of England Combined Authority Investment Fund. SBES is delivered in partnership by Bristol City Council, YTKO, School for Social Entrepreneurs, The Prince’s Trust, and KWMC The Factory. 

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Watch our online celebration live!

This year people across Knowle West and Bristol have been finding new ways to learn, live, work, support each other and respond to local needs.

Join us on Tuesday 8 December for an online celebration of this creativity, collaboration and community, in an online stream of films and live content.  The stream will conclude with the KWMC Annual General Meeting for 2020 where you can hear more of what we’ve been up to this year and what 2021 holds.

We’ll be streaming live on Youtube, beginning just after 3pm and concluding at 5pm.  You can find the schedule here.

To tell us which films and stories you enjoyed during the live stream or to submit a question during the Annual General Meeting you can comment on the Youtube video, e-mail us at or send us a message on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram @knowlewestmedia.

We’ll be making the content of the live stream and AGM available for people to watch after the event if you’re not able to tune in live.

US musician supports KWMC with latest release

A US-based musician has selected Knowle West Media Centre as one of two charities that support young musicians to receive a donation of proceeds from his latest release.

Vexxe, from Ohio in the eastern USA, will split the proceeds from Pulse 5 between KWMC and Music Loves Ohio, a non-profit organisation providing opportunities for financially underserved youth in central Ohio to pursue their passion for music.

He explains: “everyone who was involved with the release viewed it as an opportunity to support local organisations working to make music accessible to underserved youth in our communities.

“While I am from Ohio, the record label [Circular Jaw] is based in Birmingham and the remix artists are from Bristol and London. We wanted to split the proceeds to create an impact in both local communities.

“We are thrilled to support KWMC’s dedication to uplifting people from diverse backgrounds to develop tools, skills, resources, and opportunities to achieve social change.”

Vexxe was introduced to KWMC by Matthew Bentley, a teacher at a local college.

He says: “I have known Matthew virtually for a few years. He was the mastering engineer behind this release and one half of production duo Spektralsound, who remixed Pulse 5. Matthew highly recommended KWMC and mentioned that KWMC took a few of his students on a wellness and song-writing retreat in nature.”

Vexxe describes the sound of Pulse 5 as ‘rhythmic, introspective music for the body and mind alike,’ taking inspiration from dance music including techno, breaks, and 2-step.

You can hear and support Vexxe’s latest release via the Circular Jaw Bandcamp and find out more about his music on his Facebook page, or search VexxeMusic on Twitter.

We’d like to thank Vexxe and the team at Circular Jaw for choosing to support KWMC and helping us continue our work supporting young musicians and communities across Bristol to explore their creativity.

If you have a business and would like to find out more about supporting KWMC please visit the Support page. You can also donate online via the link below





Vexxe would like to thank the remix artists Spektralsound (Matthew Bentley and Robin Matto), Hartta (Benji Kaarbanik) and Meta (Sean Gomez and Alex Blake), Andrew Gibbins and Sam Calcutt at Circular Jaw, and Steffan Corr for organising the remixes.

The Data Says It All

We are delighted to share a new video work made by Richard Layzell especially for Knowle West Media Centre. It is a reflection on his work with us since 2010 and a poetic weaving together of his experiences of being in residency in the neighbourhood and working with members of the Knowle West community. It was made during the COVID-19 lockdown as a way to keep sharing his work with audiences.

Richard Layzell is an award-winning visual and performance artist based in London. He has completed several residencies with KWMC and regularly shows his work internationally.

Richard’s practice and ongoing collaboration with KWMC demonstrate the importance of artists who work within communities spending time immersing themselves in an area – building relationships, talking and listening, and understanding what’s important to people – and the impact that this immersion can have for both artists and community.

We are committed to supporting artists and communities to work together and will be developing new ‘slow residency’ strands in the coming years.

Thank you to Richard for sharing this film with us and for the inspiration, curiosity and generosity he continues to bring to Knowle West and KWMC.

Transcript: The Data Says it All – Richard Layzell

It all began in Shanghai one Saturday morning in 2009, when I stood for sixty minutes on the corner of Shilong Road, counting vehicles without exhaust pipes. These were bikes of all kinds and the occasional electric scooter. There were 2000 in that hour. I was keeping a record of this moment, to make an environmental comparison with the west, a comparison that would be very different today, now that the car has stepped up to take up its rightful place in an even more developed Chinese economy.

I had a bike, myself, to get around the square mile where I lived and worked in the south of the city. It was called Shuangzulong, which ironically translates as ‘bipedal’, because one of the pedals fell off the first time I used it. Anyway, this was data collected and when the Knowle West Media Centre advertised a project called Whose Data? a year later, I talked about this Shanghai experience in my application. And I remembered it when the work began. This time the counting happened in shops, the convenience stores of Knowle West. I stood close to the till, trying to be invisible, noting down the categories of what people bought, rather than the brands: soft drink, energy drink, booze, fags, tobacco, lottery, white bread, eggs, crisps, biscuits, milk, newspaper, Paypoint, sweets, pie, onion. I wasn’t aiming to be judgmental about their purchases, but when I read from these lists at a public event a few weeks later, a local councillor described this as significant research into cultural deprivation. Hmm.

I also looked at biodiversity, the range of other species living here, and I had Steve, the Media Centre’s then caretaker, as a special databank. I came to realise that his local knowledge of wildlife was embedded in him. I borrowed a sound recorder and met Steve just before dawn. He took me to the Wills Site, the Bommie, the Black Path, and the Horse Field. The birds were enough and he knew it. The dawn choruses were fantastical symphonies of competing soundscapes, natural and man-made. We stood in silence listening acutely to what was being recorded, trying not to cough or sneeze. In between recordings, Steve spoke guiltily about his boyhood experiences as a poacher, and with authority that this was a green corridor for birds and other creatures. From their perspective Knowle West is a rich source of food, cover and safety. Up here, the pattern of open land, housing and the many patches of green space are only interrupted by the major highway that is, Hartcliffe Way.

Still thinking about data I came back a year later with another idea, this time related to binary code. I would visit every street in Knowle West and photograph all the house numbers that contained a one or a zero or both. These were, obviously, numbers 1, 10, 11, 100, 101, 110 and 111. It took quite a while. The photos were then displayed side-by-side in the gallery, and all the residents of the featured houses were invited to a special event to find their number on the wall, with one lucky winner going away with a Morrison’s voucher for £50. It was a binary bonanza, a celebration of numerology, and a record of house number manufacturing over a 90-year period, and another unique view of this unique neighbourhood.

Then came the Artist Hotel project, joining in the research for the idea of imagining an artist hotel for Knowle West. Some of my research focused on hotels in London and the South East that branded themselves as ‘artistic’, including the Artist Residence Hotel in Brighton and the St Martins Lane Hotel in London. I tend to see hotel lobbies and foyers as semi-public spaces that can be occupied, and that’s what I did. I asked the price of a room. I wandered around to get the ambience, sometimes behaving on the edge of performance, to see how far I could go before being stopped. When it came to the presentation of my findings I’d not long been back from a visit to Ethiopia, where corrugated metal sheets are a base building material for many homes and shops, so I decided to include hammering on a piece of locally sourced corrugated steel as an antidote to the glamorous hotel culture that I’d been experiencing. Artists don’t need a swanky hotel. Nor does Knowle West.

The landscape of the place on the hill in Bristol BS4 is always with me. I’ve spent long enough to get under its surface and be inside its weather. I’ve walked those streets, all of them, seen the sun rise and set, explored the wilderness at the back of Greenfield School with the kids, been humbled by Steve’s instinctive knowledge, looked up and looked down, listened and watched… BS4 was even with me in the Alice Springs desert and the Montreal rain when I was working on my new ecological project called The Naming in 2018. As a part of this I came back to Bristol last year to explore the huge tidal range of the River Avon and the Bristol Channel, the second highest in the world, and the potential pollution in the Malago River, using a lo-fi method involving unbleached tampons and UV light. The results were not conclusive, but veered on the side of not polluted, which was great news.

This year I was further along with The Naming and keen to share my discoveries with the people of Knowle West. I wanted to give them a direct experience of ecology in an event called Not Green…. So, in January I spend a couple of days looking around and planning. Walking down the slope opposite the Park Centre in Daventry Road and into the trees, I’m surprised to find a flowing stream. This reminds me of Mardalsfossen waterfall in Norway, a place I’d been to the previous summer, to see the site of the first ever eco-action that was led by the philosopher Arne Naess, in 1970. It’s one of Northern Europe’s most spectacular waterfalls. This stream here is tiny, but the sight and sound of running water are enough to make the connection.

There’s an elegant mature tree in the garden of the old vicarage next to St Barnabas Church. It’s some kind of maple Jim thinks. As a tree expert, he explains that this tree has had regular pollarding. I only know about pruning and coppicing. He tells me that pollarding is to encourage growth and to keep a regular shape. I think of the lines of plane trees in London that have their limbs cut to stumps every year. I wonder what you call this? Mutilation perhaps.

In March, as the day approaches, the weather forecast is worrying. Expect heavy rain, hail and very strong winds. Although we’ve asked people to bring waterproof clothing, strong shoes and an umbrella, the wind will be almost gale force. This could be tricky. Time to rethink. I go back to the Park Centre, our meeting place, to look for ways to keep dry. There’s a neglected lobby tucked away, opposite the reception desk. It’s enclosed and quiet, and I’ll be able to play sounds and video here to the assembled group, at the start. Then I remember one of the main themes of my bigger project, about how the naming of other species can create a separation, as if identification is enough. ‘Oh look this is an oak tree, that’s a hedge sparrow, it’s in a hedge, can you hear the woodpecker, it’s pecking wood, that’s why it’s called a woodpecker, get it?’ So I decide to find another kind of name for some of the trees that live around the edge of the Park Centre complex.

So, we’ll start inside and then go inside/outside to the courtyard, to visit a silver birch tree surrounded by bricks, and then we’ll come back inside to go outside, where we can find the derelict pond once funded by the Princes Trust, and notice the savagely pruned trees at the end of some adjoining back gardens, hacked down without any respect for their feelings or dignity. This is not pollarding.

And now we go all the way outside. We move across Daventry Road to look at the well-shaped tree in the vicarage, and pass through the metal barrier and into the majesty of the Bommie. The rain has mainly kept off. But the wind is picking up. We carefully make our way down the steep grass slope with small sideways steps. Someone is wearing trainers and becomes mud-splattered in a flash as they slip. The rest of us arrive safely, to find the stream, still fast-flowing, and some trees of unknown species (aha!). I climb one of these as a gesture of connection, and to surprise the others. I suddenly feel that this is my land, where I belong. Down here it’s deep landscape, heavy with trees and the sound of running water, yet we’re only a few metres from a busy road. People chat and hang out, as if this is an achievement and a destination. I can see what they mean. Then the hail-rain arrives, lashed by the wind, and we climb back up the hill to the church, where Sam, the long-haired vicar with a nose ring, has thankfully already put the soup on the stove. Once we’re all inside he unlocks the door to the interior garden that no one knows about, except him… and me.

There was a time in the late 1920s, when the farmers sold their land to the council and put the money in the bank. It was theirs to sell. That’s how they saw it. And once (it was) sold they soon forgot about it and were not interested in seeing the houses and schools being built over the hillside where their animals used to graze. Or that it was now called Knowle West. They went on a lavish holiday with some of the proceeds, and wondered if they should have held out for more cash per acre.

With modern farming methods and the decline of hedgerows, those same fields would now be edge to edge, making it hard for wildlife and wildflowers to get a grip, not to mention the introduction of chemical fertilisers. So, up here, over these 90 years, the creation and the development of Knowle West BS4 has proved to be a huge bonus for Bristol’s biodiversity. It’s a thriving ecosystem and a green corridor that puts local farmland to shame. The data says it all.

Richard Layzell, July 2020

About Richard

Richard Layzell has been a leading innovator in the fields of live art, video and installation since the 1980s. He has been commissioned by most major public galleries and museums across the UK and completed many international artist residencies. As an experienced facilitator he’s led creative workshops with people of all ages and backgrounds internationally. He has pioneered socially engaged practice and worked with many diverse communities nationally and internationally. His interactive installation Tap Ruffle and Shave was experienced by 100,000 people of all ages and abilities on its UK tour to London, Manchester and Newcastle.

He is currently working on The Naming, a major action research project which challenges and questions how, through categorisation and naming, we distance ourselves from aspects of the natural world and the cultural world.

Richard Layzell is the author of Live Art in Schools, Enhanced Performance (ed. Deborah Levy) and Cream Pages (ed. Joshua Sofaer). He is an honorary associate of the National Review of Live Art and a course leader in fine art at University of the Arts London.

Supported using public funding by Arts Council England. Additionally supported by LUX and The Elephant Trust.




Learning under Lockdown: Online digital skills with Our Digital City

As part of the ongoing mission to equip community organisations with the digital skills necessary for adequate development in the modern world, Our Digital City delivered a series of film making workshops via online video conferencing during the period of national lockdown.

Our Digital City were approached by Avonmouth Community Centre wanting to become self-sufficient in creating video content as a means to engage their local residents. The staff at the centre initially set out to create online video and written instructional content for growing foods from home for the ‘No Child Goes Hungry’ project, with the ability to host content that can be accessed privately and publicly

As a result of early conversations with ACC to further explore their needs, it was clear that they also required support with the planning/storyboarding of content rather than just the shooting and editing. Therefore, the Our Digital City team took a holistic approach and set out the objectives to support the planning, making, editing and sharing of short-films, also offering an additional session for reflection and feedback of the films they produced.  




Member of Staff, Luke, said, “I really enjoyed the training, and although it was challenging at times because of the online format, I thought the training team were very patient, knowledgeable and supportive in helping everyone develop their skills and come away with a finished project. I also had a great laugh along the way too.”  

KWMC receives support from Community Fund

In July 2020 Knowle West Media Centre received a donation of nearly £1,500 from the Direct Line Group  (DLG) Community Fund, after being nominated by a staff member from their Bristol office.

In April 2020, Direct Line Group (DLG) launched their new strategy to ‘Be a Force for Good‘ and in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, through the DLG Community Fund, they are donating £3.5 million to support communities where their largest sites are based, as well as several national charities. 

KWMC was nominated to receive support by Sandra, a Consultant at DLG.  She explained: “When I heard about the Force for Good Campaign in one of our team meetings the first charity that came to mind was Knowle West Media Centre. Throughout these unprecedented times KWMC has adapted to the needs of their participants by providing digital content and enabling people to participate through online platforms.

“For some participants, this is the only contact they have had with people outside of the family unit. KWMC and KWMC: The Factory have used social media to share useful skills, such as how to make face coverings. They have also worked alongside the Knowle West Alliance who have been supporting the vulnerable and isolated.

“I was so pleased that DLG were able to offer support to this fantastic charity that makes a visible difference not just in the local area but also in the wider Bristol community.”

We plan to use the funds donated by DLG to produce friendly and accessible signage that will be displayed at KWMC and other community venues to let people know about the COVID-19 safety measures in place and ensure that they feel safe and welcome when they access public community spaces.  The signs will be produced in the coming weeks, to coincide with some buildings in Knowle West beginning to re-open.

We’d like to say a big thank you to the team at Direct Line Group for their generous donation – and especially to Sandra for nominating us!

If you have a business and would like to find out more about supporting KWMC please visit the Support page. You can also donate online via the link below.



Contact Us

Knowle West Media Centre
Leinster Avenue
Knowle West
+44 (0) 117 903 0444

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