Thanks to our partnerships with Intu Properties plc and The Queen’s Trust, we have been able to unveil not one but two outstanding works of public art at shopping centre intu Milton Keynes this year.
In January, work on the first piece began when young people from White Spire School exchanged ideas with one another to create a collaborative original story inspired by intu Milton Keynes’s famous frog clock. With the help of Create’s visual artist Daniel Wallis, they transformed their story into a design for a public mural, featuring dozens of colourful characters to bring the walls of the shopping centre to life. Their designs were then painted up by a team of intu volunteers.
As part of our creative:connection project, the workshops offered the students, all of whom have moderate learning difficulties, the opportunity to collaborate, develop creative and social skills, improve their confidence and feel included in city living by contributing to a work of public art for their local area. One of the young people who took part in creative:connection said, “I loved taking part in the project, every second of it. The thing that I was most happy with was gaining confidence because I feel so much better working with other people now Projects like this make people more confident emotionally and that can give them the ability to speak up.”
Work on the second piece of art began in February, when young carers from Carers Milton Keynes got started on designs for a new sculpture to accompany the iconic concrete cows in residence at intu Milton Keynes’s Oak Court. Sculpting the new cow from scratch, the young carers used a variety of materials to create the body of the cow, before adorning it with bright paints and bold images.
“The project gave me the freedom to be myself fully instead of being myself to a limit,” said one of the young carers, “It’s something I can be proud of as I can say ‘I was part of that.’” Young people with caring responsibilities or a disability often face barriers when attempting to access the arts and can feel that their needs are overlooked by society. These two projects have allowed young people to develop new creative skills and share the art that they have created with the general public.
You can browse our gallery of photographs from the projects below. Can you spot the cow’s moustache?