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Rethinking the Brownfields, Brownfield Research Centre.

FRANCIS, Anna (2018) Rethinking the Brownfields, Brownfield Research Centre. [Artefact]

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Abstract or description

Anna Francis was commissioned to undertake a period of research, within the Brownfield Research Centre at AirSpace Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent, as part of her ongoing project to explore th viability of these post-industrial sites across the city.
About the Brownfield Research Centre:
It is our contention at AirSpace that the future for provincial city centres, is not going to be based around traditional retail, and so we need to find new sustainable purposes for our urban zones. Like many other former industrial cities, and exacerbated by a failed housing renewal scheme, Stoke-on-Trent has physically emptied out over the last two decades, as industrial buildings and former residences have been demolished. Invariably the resulting land has been cordoned off – with Heras or Pallisade fencing, allowing Nature to reclaim the land.
For many, these areas are ugly, gaining a reputation as eyesores, and dens of iniquity, used if anything by the city’s homeless or for nefarious purposes. However, there is an alternate view. They can be seen as thriving natural ecosystems, home to a series of itinerant native plants, such as Coltsfoot, Buddleia, Tansy and Rosebay. More than that, we believe this successful natural reclamation can point the way to a new future for our city. What if – at least in their interim, we managed these spaces as City Centre Parkland, offering these native species the chance to thrive and cultivate, and simultaneously offering visitors to our city the chance to do the same.
Stoke-on-Trent has a history of successfully Greening former toxic land, as Hanley Forest Park and half of the 1986 Garden Festival Site, 20 years on, are now successful rural idylls in the heart of our city, turning the toxicity of their former occupants – Steel and Coal mining, into areas of Local Beauty. This is a model which we can learn from and repeat right in the centre of our city centres.
AirSpace gallery will split into 3 zones for this activity.
1. Exhibition Space - we will exhibit works by each of the 6 resident artists - Rodrigo Arteaga, Edward Chell, Rebecca Chesney, Anna Francis, Lucy McLauchlan and Vicky Sharples.
2. The Research Centre - From an open call, we will display both physically in the specially designed research centre, and via our online resources, the works of any artist working in this area who wishes to submit their works for inclusion.
3. Residency Space In order to properly understand these sites and their possibilities we need to carry out some research. And so, for 6 weeks in the summer of 2018, AirSpace Gallery will transform into a Brownfield Research Centre, as we invite 6 artists, working in different disciplines, to the city to carry out consecutive 1 week residencies, tasked with exploring the current situation of and future potential for the ubiquitous Brownfield.
Each Resident will be tasked with exploring the Brownfield and producing a proposal for a brand new piece of work in response, for exhibition in a proposed Grand exhibition in association and partnership with the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery in Spring 2020.

Item Type: Artefact
Uncontrolled Keywords: regeneration, urban nature, brownfields, green space, city development, ecology, artist, artist led development
Faculty: School of Creative Arts and Engineering > Art and Design
Event Location: AirSpace Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent, UK.
Depositing User: Anna FRANCIS
Date Deposited: 24 Jun 2019 10:42
Last Modified: 24 Jun 2019 10:42
URI: http://eprints.staffs.ac.uk/id/eprint/5713

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