Blok Collective Team

Project Team; Stuart Payn (Project Lead), Jason Duckmanton, Luke Payn, Amanda Rigby, Keely Mills, Jay Gearing, Lee Mason (not pictured). Photo Credit: Simon Belham

Blok have been given the go ahead to redevelop the city’s central underpass at Cowgate by Peterborough City Council after submitting a successful bid that beat national competition. After submitting an expression of interest in December last year, we were invited to prepare and present our vision for the massive space that connects Cowgate with the Train Station and the Crescent Bridge. As an organisation that has a long history in creating large mural work in underpasses and working within communities, we were really in our element. We were incredibly excited to create a vision for the area, so we got the team together to come up with a creative process for the work that would accurately reflect Peterborough’s rich cultural heritage and it’s modern creative identity and aspirations.

We were notified of our successful bid just before Christmas, so there was even more to celebrate over the festive season and we have already started work in gathering research and stories that will inform the artwork as well as getting started on a lot of other project preparation. We have over 1000 square metres of wall space to paint which will require a lot of planning and a lot of design time.

Blok’s creative team for the underpass are made up of artists under the banner of Blok Collective in conjunction with local designers at ethical design company Paper Rhino. Both not-for-profit groups are involved in the development of the arts in Peterborough and work closely with many different communities.

Blok have previously worked with schools and groups to produce murals on a number of Underpasses around the city including Cuckoos Hollow and Bluebell Underpass.

Cowgate Underpass Peterborough logoHere is an extract from our recent press release;

“The group were awarded the contract, after submitting a proposal and being interviewed by a panel made up of local councillors, members of Peterborough City Council and Vivacity. The project will develop and produce a piece of high profile and engaging public art to uplift and regenerate the area between Cowgate and the Train Station as part of the larger regeneration project of the city centre.

The final piece will be a collaborative effort between the artists and will be inspired by innovative public consultation & engagement in the development phase of the project, this will focus on accessing people’s stories about Peterborough, informing ideas and imagery for the final designs.

Stuart Payn, Project Lead said “The Peterborough art scene is thriving with energy and passion; this is a chance to share this passion with a fresh & bold creative legacy for both locals and visitors to our city.”

Councillor Janet Goodwin, Cabinet Adviser to the Leader on Business Engagement, Tourism and International Links, said: “It is important to make the gateways to the city centre as attractive and welcoming as possible. This underpass is a key route to the city centre from the Peterborough rail station so is seen by thousands of visitors to the city week. I look forward to seeing the finished artwork.”

We plan for the work to be completed by May 2014, with an exhibition at the City Gallery around the same time.