Making Hengrove - Stories of Making 10
Making Hengrove - Stories of Making 10
Engagement event in collaboration with Avon Wildlife Trust. Photo: Billy Colours


Making Hengrove – Wildflower



Next to the Urban Quarter development lies ‘The Mounds’ – a beautiful and somewhat undiscovered wild nature haven. Artist Alex Godwin (Billy Colours) has chosen to celebrate and signpost the Mounds with her new permanent commission ‘Wildflower’.

The work emerged from door-to-door consultation with residents and from events hosted in partnership with Avon Wildlife Trust. Wildflower will emerge from the land as a giant, abstracted, colourful and playful flower, standing as a connector and celebrator between the new development and the outstanding wild-space right on the doorstep.

Hengrove Mounds, an old landfill site, and now a rich wildlife haven, is full of meadow grasses, wildlflowers, plants and insects. Sitting along the edge of this new development it remains somewhat hidden and ignored. Billy’s engagement, and subsequent concept, focussed on this overlooked gem.

In close collaboration with Avon Wildlife Trust, Billy devised a community engagement programme that inspired ideas for the concept from the local emerging community. This programme encouraged a relationship with nature for residents, shared creative skills and aimed to help build a sense of place, belonging and community pride.

The flower is a playful nod to the Hengrove Mounds, responding to the vision and context of the site and encouraging exploration of local nature. It will serve as a playful meeting place, a welcoming entrance and key connector to the nature reserve.

Making Hengrove - Stories of Making 9
Engagement event in collaboration with Avon Wildlife Trust. Photo: Billy Colours

Billy intends to connect her sculptural work with further engagement and learning workshops which directly connect the work with specific wildflower species that grow on the mounds, such as wild carrot, corky-fruited water drop-wart and kidney vetch. Kidney Vetch is the only food plant of the small blue butterfly, a nationally scarce species which can be found in Hengrove. This connection to the mounds, is a key part of the concept, hoping to encourage local communities to take an active interest in their local nature reserves and to plant more wildflowers in the area.

Billy is working with Paul Channing Studio on the engineering and fabricating of the sculpture which we hope will be installed Autumn/winter 2023.

Further Reading:

‘Making Hengrove’ is the name given to the Public Art Programme for Hengrove’s new Urban Quarter Development for Tilia Homes (previously Keir). It is the vision of Public Art Consultant Diana Hatton Consultancy and Walter Jack Studio and comprises of three interlinked projects share an ambition to ‘build community, build skills and build a sense of place through collaborative acts and celebrations of making’.

Building Community: Co-creation and participation is integral to each project in the hope that creativity can bring the community together to share in the pleasure of making.

Building Skills: Hengrove celebrates some fantastic initiatives relation to this ambition. Making Hengrove aims to amplify, celebrate and support the creative talent already in the area.

Building Sense of Place: Sense of place is often about a vernacular of materials and building technologies. Thatched roofs, for instance, make the Cotswolds special. Much of this local distinctiveness has been lost through the homogenisation of building processes, however BS4 has a developing expertise in digital fabrication. ‘Making Hengrove’ will harness this to give a layer of distinctiveness to this development of new homes.

The three emerging projects in the programme include:

Commission 1:
‘Stories of Making’. Scott Farlow in collaboration with local communities.

Commission 2:
‘PositiveNegativePositive’, Walter Jack Studio in collaboration with KWMC’s The Factory.

Commission 3:
(currently in development)
‘Wildflower’ Billy Colours