BasildON Creative People & Place initiative recently teamed up with ReFRAMED Productions and the two realized Our Towns, an innovative street art initiative that brought a number of large-scale murals to the streets of Basil-don town center in the past few months. With the initiative’s focus on putting the local community at the heart of driving and delivering diverse and engaging projects, this original concept partnered world-class artists with local organizations in order to create murals inspired by Basildon and reflecting on global issues seen through a local lens. Under the subtitle Our Towns: Climate, this series of murals aims to inspire and encourage conversations around climate, with a monumental art installation influenced by the local ecology and chosen by residents. The entire program was aligned with the Creative Estuary effort to transform 60 miles of the Thames Estuary across South Essex and North Kent into one of the most exciting creative clusters in the world.
Unique in their approach Our Towns coordinated their activity with the residents who choose between ‘people and our behaviors’ or the ‘planet and our impact’ topic. After the voting, ‘planet and our impact’-themed mural was realized by INSA, shining a light on the near-threatened green-winged orchid frequently found in Basildon. The large-scale public work continuing artist’s series of GIF animations of graffiti work aka GIF-ITI, was painted using Graphenstone paints which are free of toxic components, accentuating the environmental focus of the entire undergoing. Meanwhile, the legacy of the concept will revolve around a series of workshops for local youth, as well as the development of Basildon town’s first Voluntary Local Review. VLR will assess and report on a city through the lens of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), while monitoring progress on social, economic, and environmental factors in partnership with the University of Essex.
In similar manner, other murals developed over the summer were focused on such locally important and universally recognizable topics such as elderly population, diverse voices to LGBTQIA, and traveling communities,. By completing 8 public art interventions that celebrate difference and commonality the project is hoping. to spark important social and environmental discussion. The full lineup of participating artists include Aches (IRE), Franco Fasoli (ITA), Marina Capdevila (ESP), Erin Holly (UK), Gabriel Pitcher (UK), INSA (UK), Michele Curtis (UK), and Helen Bur (UK).