Hearts and minds for a shopping centre’s birthday
Meadowhall Hearts was a community arts and partner engagement initiative for Meadowhall’s 25th anniversary. Part of its Twenty-five Years of Bringing People Together campaign, we were commissioned to create a bespoke artist and community programme. It culminated in an exhibition in the shopping centre of 12 heart sculptures co-created by local people.
As part of the brief we: matched artists to a broad mix of local groups and partners identified by the centre; ran a kick-off interactive session for community groups in collaboration with the centre; organised the artist and group workshops; moderated designs; oversaw the painting space for artists; and managed the installation and de-installation of the sculptures.
All the groups were supported by professional artists to turn the blank hearts into something that represented their group and the wider community as a whole. We worked closely with Meadowhall to bring design ideas to life, collaborating with artists and their assigned group.
The groups ranged from local community organisations in the area, as well as: St. Luke’s Hospice; Sheffield Children’s Hospital; Sheffield & Hallamshire Football Association; The Star newspaper; Marketing Sheffield; apprenticeship academy The Source; arts charity Ignite Imaginations; and Sheffield International Venues.
Bringing people together
Meadowhall Centre Director, Darren Pearce, explained: “’We are celebrating 25 years of bringing people together so we wanted to do something unique to mark our birthday celebrations. It includes the many communities, businesses and charities from across Sheffield that really embraces our spirit and everything that is part of the ‘make-up’ of Meadowhall.
“The Hearts project stood out as it gave the Centre a chance to work with a variety of groups and community partners but allowed them to put their own stamp on the installations, because the celebrations are not just about us; it’s about the part we all play in the wider Sheffield community.”
Ann Bentley from the Wincobank community group attended the design workshops as part of the initiative. She said: “As a proud neighbour to Meadowhall we’ve always had a very close on-going relationship over the years. We’re delighted and honoured to be playing our part in the Meadowhall 25th anniversary celebrations and having the opportunity to design our own community heart, as well as the Wincobank community being represented in the design itself.”