Halewood residents are being asked to contribute to a new community artwork.
Produced by the collaborative and social arts agency Heart of Glass, ‘Following the Roots: Stories of Halewood’ will bring a trail of sculptural artworks to Halewood Park Triangle this spring.
Artist Frances Disley has asked to hear stories from local residents which will be paired with tree species found in the forest, to represent the coexistence of people and place.
Describing the project, Frances said: “The artwork will be something that represents stories that are important to Halewood and they will be matched to a particular tree for example, the hawthorn tree is connected to the heart and love so I am looking for a story that connects with the human exploration of that.
“My hope is that when I interview people from Halewood they will be recorded and presented online so when you go around the trail there might be a QR code that will navigate you to a particular voice or a story.
“This sculptural work could hopefully become an archive and resource which showcases local descriptions of these important Halewood stories.”
Workshops for Halewood adults
Adults across Halewood are being encouraged to attend a series of free art workshops from February to March in Halewood Environment centre where they will be able to share their stories.
Frances said: “No experience with art is needed, it is just about getting to know the forest and how you can make your own art material.
“So we will be burning willow to make charcoal to draw with and and boiling up bark to make ink to paint with.
“It will also be a great chance to talk about Halewood as well and I will get to spend time with people, hear stories and see what they think is important about the local area.”
Frances will also be speaking with walking community and conservation groups along with local schools.
She is interested in incorporating the industrial revolution of Halewood into this project.
Frances said: “It feels like Halewood has had a series of kind of like real flux points which connects with how the forest has grown.
“It was originally farmland and then the railways came which formed the triangle in the 80s and there were other big transformations such as Ford.
“There would have been a workforce that came and changed alongside of these and for this project I would like to interview people who worked or were impacted by the Ford factory.”
Celebrating the forest
The project was officially launched on December 19 and was attended by performers, local schools and members of the community to mark the winter solstice.
Following the Roots: Stories of Halewood is a new project by @FranDisley with Halewood residents, telling the human tale of the area, intertwined with the wisdom of the trees. Images from our our festive launch ft. a tree ceremony created with local schoolchildren @RadkaDolinska pic.twitter.com/TK8cZaxQd4
— HeartofGlass (@TheHeartofGlass) December 20, 2022
Looking back on the launch event Frances said: “It was a really nice atmosphere and since I will be working in the forest I was keen to sort of celebrate and say thank you to it for hosting me.
“It felt really warm and positive and at that moment it was less about me as an artist and the artworks and more about celebrating the community of people, trees and their coexistence.”
The free forest workshops will take place every Friday from February 10 to March 10 between 11am and 12.30pm at the Halewood Environment Centre on Okell Drive L26 7XB and registration can be made here.
‘Following the Roots: Stories of Halewood’ is produced with the Arts Council England-funded Creative People and Places programme and is part of the Every Town and Village Tells Its Story project in partnership with Knowsley Council. It is supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.