Our Dartford Assembly project is intended to be an outdoor gallery, designed to stimulate the visual senses and showcase a small sample of the wealth of artistic talent which resides in our local area.
The display has been installed on a 75 metre stretch of the hoardings at the north end of Lowfield Street and features a wide range of works by Dartford artists, schools, colleges and local residents who accepted an open invitation to supply ideas or take part in workshops in the town centre.
Last summer Dartford Arts Network (DAN) also ran four Saturday workshops in the town centre to gather ideas and content from local people. The result includes painted boards, a large spray-paint mural, collage, screenprint works, typography and graphic pieces, along with interesting quotes about Dartford and references to famous Dartfordians.
The project was sparked by a grassroots appeal from a number of local residents and artists who felt the hoardings could host something creative until development on the site gets underway. Some took to Facebook and members of the Dartford Arts Network developed a plan for a public arts project that won the support of Dartford Borough Council.
Conceived nearly two years ago, the central aim of the project was initially to kill two very significant birds with one stone: to provide a vehicle through which local artists could publicly display their artworks in the town, and to deliver a project which greatly enhanced the aesthetics of Lowfield Street for the general public.
13 individual artists contributed, as well as art students at North West Kent College, children at The Bridge Primary Community School, and 10 members of the public who produced collage and monoprint works at the public workshops we held last summer at One Bell Corner.
We have had overwhelmingly positive responses from the public, who are generally delighted to see such a wide variety of local art on public display.
Our next project – Plastic Fantastic – is already underway. After winning a grant from Ellandi, the owners of the Priory Centre, to produce a sculpture for the community addressing the issues of sustainability and plastic waste, we will be holding workshops in September to encourage members of the public to contribute to the construction and design.
See the project page for more details on the project and how to get involved.