In our experience, throwing money at arts based regeneration doesn’t necessarily make it stick. What sticks is proof that small, easily achievable actions can make a difference. This way people are more likely to continue once the artist is eyebrow deep in another funding bid.
In this spirit we’ve given ourselves a rule on this project- to make any changes easy and inexpensive.
Before and After.
Our first street intervention is a temporary ‘Cultural Quarter Tourist Information’ board, which is written in chalk-pen on the window of a closed shop. This simple intervention is low cost, eye-catching and temporary.
It promotes the activity in the Cultural Quarter, whilst simultaneously covering up the inactivity of the closed shop.
We have also tidied up the windows and added some vinyl shapes, and chalkboard paint to create a changeable interactive message board. At the moment we’ve filled it with some poetry about the pigeons.
The effect of this is to make people stop and look, to slow people down on the street- and to a large extent this has been happening. In fact it started happening from the minute we’d finished.
Many of the business owners on the street say that people use Piccadilly as a thoroughfare, visual artist can do a great deal to encourage people to dwell more, as well as offering the pedestrian a richer experience and the artist a public platform.