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Recreation Ground welcomes vibrant Public Art Installation: The Bromsgrove Galloper

The heart of Bromsgrove’s Recreation Ground now boasts captivating new artwork that celebrates the town's rich history.

On June 5th, a colourful floor painting, named "The Bromsgrove Galloper," was created to pay homage to the Recreation Ground’s legacy as a hub for horse fairs and races, as well as its present-day association with circuses and fairs.

Created by talented local artists Keith Ashford and Elizabeth Turner, this permanent installation is the result of an inspiring collaborative effort. Through engaging workshops with local schools, youth groups, and residents, the design of galloping horses emerged, capturing the spirit and energy of the site's diverse history.

Featuring vibrant horse and rider designs on the outer and inner granite circles and a compass at the centre, the Bromsgrove Galloper seamlessly extends from the central tarmac circle onto the cobbled area and outward, symbolically guiding visitors towards the four points of the compass and connecting them to the wider district. The artwork utilises Nisocoat, a durable polyester paint expertly applied with stencils, ensuring its longevity, and allowing for future refreshing of the images.

Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Cultural Services, Councillor Steve Colella, expressed his enthusiasm for the Bromsgrove Galloper, saying: "This artwork beautifully captures the essence of Bromsgrove's past and present. It serves as a powerful reminder of the traditions that have shaped the town, while also embracing the modern-day activities that continue to bring our communities together. I encourage everyone, from residents to visitors passing through, to take a moment to enjoy this artwork which is a testament to our vibrant community and the collaborative spirit that brought this creation to life."

The creation of the Bromsgrove Galloper was a collaborative journey that engaged various members of the community. Local schools, including Meadows and Orchard First Schools, participated in workshops where 120 Year 3 children delved into the history of the Recreation Ground, created horse automata, and even staged their own races. The Hub youth group further contributed their creative ideas, exploring background colours and movement through an exciting spin painting machine and, with inclusivity as a guiding principle throughout this project, the artists also paid a visit to Chandler Court, Care UK, where eight residents and staff eagerly embraced the art installation and engaged in a craft-making activity related to the project. The project was also supported throughout by local Historian, Pat Tansell, with expert local historical knowledge and insight.

The inspiration for this creation stems from extensive research conducted by the artists. Reflecting its historical significance as a venue for horse fairs, races, and fairs, the artists incorporated themes of a fairground carousel, compass, and zoetrope, paying tribute to the town's past whilst also integrating elements from its history of manufacturing e.g., nails.

This project has been funded by Section 106 monies, given to Bromsgrove District Council by developers to invest in the improvement of the Recreation Ground.

The artwork is now open for all to enjoy.

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