︎︎︎




NOBODY
LIVES BY
THE GRID_

A PUBLIC ART COMMISSION FOR OAKGROVE MILTON KEYNES

INTRODUCTION

This simple blog charts the process of the development of a public art project for Oakgrove, an area of Milton Keynes, by the artists Heather Peak and Ivan Morison.

The page begins with the very first thoughts about the commission and will continue through the development process charting conversations, activities, ideas and designs, fabrication, installation and early uses of the artwork.
The page is intended as a point of reference and recap for those involved in the process and others interested in it. Something like an occasional visual diary, blog and artists notebook.

Above images: medium format research images of Oakgrove and Milton Keynes by the artists


STARTING POINT

The commissioners aims and objectives of the project:

  • To develop and deliver a permanent public art commission, which is inspired by and specific to Oakgrove as a place and as a community. 

  • To work closely with commissioning partners and Oakgrove residents in the development of commission ideas

  • To explore the green landscape within and around Oakgrove and consider how best to make connections, encourage recreation, exercise and community well-being

  • To investigate the rich heritage of the local area and surrounding villages and consider how this might be reflected and celebrated within the final commission. 

  • To engage the community in the process and ensure this inform the commission ideas

  • To work respectfully within the existing public realm, taking into consideration any existing constraints and sensitivities. 

  • To work with the highest quality materials and fabrication processes, with a life span of 25+ years






STEP 1


The artists were asked to spend time on site and then to present their thoughts and possible ways forward to the projects steering group. Here is a summary by the artists of what was shared.



WHAT WE SEE

The movement of people

The sense of belonging

The winding course of the rivers through the city

The stone of ancient churches and the thatch of cottages

The indent in the landscape of medieval fish ponds

The distorted city grid

The mesh of green walkways and cycle routes

The layering of history and place

The circle, slab, triangle and grid of the modernist project

The wonderfully varied range of inspirations of the city’s early planners – from weaver bird nests and shell formations to Bauhaus and communicating with aliens.

It has a long history

It is a place in the making







WHAT WE DO

Our focus in this project is to create new connections:

Between residents and residents

Between families, adults and kids

Across neighbourhoods

Between residents and nature

Between people and their built environment

Between audiences and the artworks







HOW WE DO IT

We approach the engagement with a focus on connecting people to people, people to ideas, ideas to place.

By creating a research group of interested people

By going on a creative journey through shared research and inspiration, off site visits to other art projects, creative conversations.
Collectively devise and deliver a series of wider creative community activities.

The final design of the work will come out of the learning gaimned from the engagement process.



The Oakgrove Public Art Commission is a commission by Milton Keynes City Council, working with The Parks Trust and Broughton and Milton Keynes Parish Council, funded from contributions through the planning process by the developers.
Contact        


You can make contact with the studio of Heather Peak and Ivan Morison here: studio@peakmorison.org