Finding Common Ground


In our cities we are experiencing an erosion of public space. Bristol’s population is predicted to rise by 95,000 within the next ten years with many new homes being planned. While existing neighbourhoods understand the need for people to have homes, especially for the 1300 sleeping on our streets, we’d like to be part of the conversation. How this can best happen in a sustainable way? How can we preserve unique environments? Where can we plant more trees? Will there be enough schools? Health centres? Buses? Cycle lanes? And what about our community and cultural spaces?

Inner City London has been feeling development pressures since the 1980s, using my home town, Deptford, I have been musing about the impacts with friends

Emerging from Art within the Cracks this project sets out to talk to Bristol’s citizens and find out what they think about how the city can best grow. We’re interested in what unites us and are using the Rivers Frome, Malago and Avon to link neighbourhoods. The areas we are beginning with are Frenchay, Eastville/Easton, Bedminster, Hotwells, Hartcliffe and Withywood.

We’d like to take you on a journey along these rivers to find our common ground!

The yellow stars show the ares we’re focusing on to begin with (ignore the golf courses!)

Why should you journey with us? As artists we’ve been co-creating with communities for a couple of decades, creating community gardens, performances, films, songs, maps and, as activists we’ve help people share their ideas. You’ll have a fun experience and feel part of your city.

Peaceful Portway 2015 as part of Sharing Communities

Here are some of the activities we’ve produced for communities in the past

Lizzie Philps has written with communities in the landscape using GPS Trackers

Annali Grimes has been working with locals to improve this neglected area
Grace Kress campaigns for ctizens rights using graphic design and community arts
Amy Hutchings has painted murals with people of Hotwells and Withywood
Gill Simmons has been co-writing songs with communities about their environments

It’s not just artists, we’re also working with Action Greater Bedminster, Hotwells & Cliftonwood Community Association, Frenchay Village Museum, & Creative Workspace. And we’re talking to ACORN, Sustrans, Extinction Rebellion, Bricks, UWE, Bristol University, Bristol Health Partners, People’s Republic of Stoke Croft, Windmill Hill and Malago planning group, Bedminster Green Hub and many more

We’re still fundraising, but we’d love to hear from you if you want to join the conversations and journey with us to find common ground.

HighWaterLine Bristol report is a great resource in community engagement around social issues and a production guide for a city wide project

  • Future Cities Conference 2019 Bristol
  • Plunder of the Commons, Guy Standing
  • Inner City Pressure, Dan Hancock
  • Poverty Safari
  • Homes for Heroes 100
  • Know your Place
  • Land Trust events