Working closely with the Knowle West community through a process of co-design and making, we are reinventing community spaces and taking art to the streets with a range of different projects and creative interventions.
Filwood Fantastic is funded by Creative Civic Change, and is a collaboration between Filwood Community Centre, Knowle West Media Centre, KWMC: The Factory, Knowle West Alliance and re:work. It aims to grow community pride, change negative perceptions of the area, and support people to develop new skills.
The Walk of Hearts & Stars celebrates and remembers local people in Knowle West / Filwood during the COVID-19 crisis. KWMC: The Factory teamed up with the organisers of the Hearts & Stars volunteers’ awards to reimagine the event for 2020, as part of the Filwood Fantastic project.
Throughout the summer of 2020, we collected nominations from local people, with the following categories:
Hearts to commemorate the lives of Knowle Westers lost during the crisis and unable to have a funeral or memorial
Stars to celebrate the efforts of volunteers and others going above and beyond to make a difference and support the local community
From August to October 2020, The Factory worked closely with local people to co-design and make the Walk of Hearts & Stars, showcasing local knitter Julie Atkinson’s talents in knitting and crochet to make the Hearts, and working with Art & Energy to create light-up solar panel art for the Stars through online workshops for local people to paint their own designs, and fabrication at The Factory of the Stars boxes. We also collaborated with artist Alan May of Arts Enlarge to facilitate lantern making workshops in Christ the King and Greenfield E-ACT, producing 100 lanterns featuring the ‘Stars of the Future’ as well as a large Heart and Star lantern honouring the nominees.
The Walk of Hearts & Stars launched on Thursday 29th October, with a ‘Stay At Home’ socially distanced lantern parade taking a loop around the Filwood area for local people to spot out of their windows. This marked the opening of the Stars permanent outdoor display in the courtyard of Filwood Community Centre, and the Hearts display in the window of re:store on Filwood Broadway. The re:store shop also hosted Julie’s exhibition ‘Filwood Community Picnic’ showcasing more of her amazing knitting with a delightful scene of a teddy bear’s picnic.
You can read about the nominations and lovely comments made by local people in our special Walk of Hearts & Stars booklet. Follow this link to peruse the digital version, or look out for some printed copies to pick up for free in KWMC, The Factory, Filwood Community Centre and re:store in the coming weeks.
Join the Facebook group for more details and to look back at the progress of the project.
The Filwood Fantastic team have been redesigning the reception area of Filwood Community Centre to transform the space to be more welcoming, practical and stylish. The Factory and local volunteer Arthur Holt have been working closely with the centre staff team to co-design the new layout and look, and will be adding a window into the corridor to allows visitors to be greeted by a friendly face, as well as building new funky furniture and storage utilising recycled materials. Keep an eye out for these exciting improvements in Spring 2021.
The #FilwoodFantastic Mini Golf Club assembled in the summer of 2021, run by ClubHouse manager, visual artist and social maker Megan Clark-Bagnall, and met virtually each week with different ClubHouse members taking it in turns to showcase and share out their talents. One week, The Daly family hosted the meeting showcasing their Pokemon Mini Golf design, while at another meeting Suzie Davidson gave a master class in cooking the perfect fried egg.
The Club was lucky enough to be joined by special guests and mini golf champions Mr & Mrs Richard & Emily Gottfried, who are on a quest to visit every mini golf course in the UK!
To round off the season of online fun, ClubHouse Manager Meg hosted ‘Meg’s MEGA Mini Golf Challenge’, challenging everyone to showcase their DIY golf holes for the competition via Zoom. The winning design was Dan Alford’s Novers (g)Nasher which featured a manual crank turning a crocodiles mouth open and shut before swallowing the golf ball down an elaborate ramp & slide structure in his back garden. It was very Wallace & Gromit style and very worthy of the first prize.
Nic Marshall, Suzie Davidson and their team of volunteers are currently working with re:work on the construction of the full scale mini golf course, coming soon to Filwood Community Centre in 2021. If you have any time to spare and would like to pick up some new crafting skills, please do get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how & when you can help with the BIG BUILD of Knowle Wests first mini golf course.
In August 2019, 11 local residents attended two days of co-design and prototyping workshops at Filwood Community and KWMC: The Factory.
Together we developed ideas and concepts for an ‘iconic piece’ for the top of Filwood Broadway, starting with a manifesto for what we wanted this piece to be: Welcoming, Interactive, Design-led, Collaborative, Togetherness, Photo Opportunity, [a] Location.
These concepts evolved into a final design that fulfils the original manifesto – the ‘Filwood Letters’ – made from five layers of plywood painted in the Filwood Community Centre brand colours, and featuring artwork by local people on the back. The front is painted with glow in the dark photoluminescent paint, on which you can create temporary light art using a torch or phone light.
You can find the letters on the railings at the front of Filwood Community Centre.