Students help to get Keyham buzzing
Keyham Green Places Community Centre is a tranquil place of peace in the heart of the Keyham community, surrounded by its own gardens and horticultural growing area. An intergenerational project saw it spring to life thanks to a collaboration between craft group Keyham Krafties, Extended Diploma Fashion and Textiles students, Arts University Plymouth Student Union’s Knitting Society and numerous balls of yarn. Bees and wildflowers flew off knitting needles, landing on the bushes and shrubs making a wall of pollinators celebrating the regeneration of Keyham Green Spaces.
Arts University Plymouth Kitting Society also helped with the making
Initiated by Grace Mole, leader of Keyham Krafties, and Green Minds, one of Arts University Plymouth’s partners, the project brought together a diverse range of ages, working to create a colourful array of mini-beasts. To kickstart the project Grace visited Palace Court where both the Extended Diploma Fashion and Textiles students and The Knitting Society benefited from her guidance. For many students it was their first foray into knitting and for Grace, it was an opportunity to share her knowledge, “It was great to work with the students seeing traditional crafts being learnt and enjoyed” she says. The knitters were also joined by The Box craft group, Devonport Live café's Made to Give group and numerous home knitters, making it a truly inclusive event for all generations and crafting abilities.
Grace Mole, Leader of Keyham Krafties
Future generations got involved, with children from three local primary schools taking part in a picture competition. Two of the pictures were recreated in fabric and another appeared as a painted window on Keyham Green Place supported by Keyham Krafties artist. In preparation for the Open Day, photography students visited Keyham Green Place to shoot the banners and bees before the public had the chance to take them home with them.
Over 400 people of all ages gathered to celebrate ‘Keyhams Big Day Out’ with volunteers from Keyham Green Spaces community park group and local residents taking part in the many activities including sowing wild flower seeds. The space exists to develop educational, recreational and social activities, enhancing quality of life and promoting social cohesion within Keyham neighbourhoods. “Local events such as these are a great way for communities to come together”, says Grace, “they unite people in an enjoyable way, reducing isolation and promoting a sense of belonging”
Crocheted and knitted pollinators
The resulting nature themed creations were used to form an outdoor mural, which was exhibited at Keyham’s Big Day Out. All items made for the display were given out to the public to be enjoyed. By the end of the day every mini beast had found a new home, with one in particular being nabbed by the Lord Mayor! “The final display including the students work was amazing and enjoyed by hundreds of people” says Grace
Julia Stean, Course Leader of Extended Diploma in Creative Practice: Fashion and Textiles at Arts University Plymouth said “it was such a lovely opportunity Keyham Community Centre offered us. It was fantastic to be involved in intergenerational work. Promoting the importance of bees and their vital contribution to the climate was also a poignant theme'.
Photo credits: Oscar Rowe, Rosie Timmis, Ivory Francis, Izzy Tibbles, Jess Bowden.