On the 1st of November we moved our latest commission to its new home, Gobowen Central.
32 large screens have been designed and hand printed to create a functional, engaging and beautiful artwork that aims to contribute to Gobowen Central creating a new identity.
Funded by the Big Lottery and Awards for All, the challenge Designs in Mind was set, was -
Can ‘Gobowen Central’ truly become a space that represents and is usable by the diverse communities who want to use it?
Through conversations and creative workshops the idea was to create an installation that can be used to screen off the books in the library, easily moved and make the space multi-purpose. If this was possible then new conversations could start about how the space can be used in the future.
Inspiration has come from imagery of festivals around the world, including local festivals like the Oswestry Balloon Festival. Workshops involved local people from Gobowen, Derwen College and Gobowen Primary School and then members of the Designs in Mind team have designed and made the final artwork.
I saw it as a challenge to get involved in this project because apart from many years ago at school, I had no experience of screen printing. 20 something panels later, I realised I had picked up the skills I had either lost or hadn’t used since being ill. The main one being problem solving.
Designs in Mind is family to me. No egos, no divas. People coming together, learning, socialising and caring. Unveiling this project is going to make me and all the family proud to see it on public display.
At Designs in Mind we are finding ways to live life and challenge mental health stigma. We create high quality ambitious and experimental art & design work and support each other to make independent ambition a reality.
Everyone joins the studio as a member of the team, through strong referral pathways with community mental health teams, GP’s and Redwoods Hospital. A strong network of friends and a peer group is established. Members are creatively challenged and work with purpose, building their self-worth and discovering new aspirations for the future.
The Gobowen Central Commission has been such a pleasure to work on. There are so many stages to go through to get to the final screen printing. I enjoyed all the collaborative work and seeing how everyone's designs figured in the final panels.
It was such a challenged to scale up the original drawings from A4 to 6ft! But I discovered a new skill and I did it well.
When we are commissioned to create new work it is such a recognition that our work is valued and wanted. The knowledge that what we design and make will soon be in a public space, where potentially hundreds of people will see it, is a huge motivator. That anticipation and expectation continuously feeds our sense of purpose and self-worth, which is what we are all about at Designs in Mind.
I wanted to say a huge thank you for what was a wonderful afternoon yesterday. This is a highlight memory of the year for me seeing the Festivals of the World panels being put up at Gobowen Central- I couldn’t believe how colourful and beautiful each individual panel is and how spacious, vibrant and modern they made the space feel.
I can already tell they will be loved by all those that come to the hub and to those that will be encouraged to use the space in the future. I have likened my walk through the door to feeling like I was being greeted with a warm ray of sunshine- what could feel better than that.
I know how incredibly busy you all are particularly at this time of year but thank you sincerely for making it possible. It was really heartening to see family friends of members there being proud of the work that has been achieved by the Designs in Mind Team and to hear the very real difference that being involved had made.
I didn’t get chance to chat with everyone as I would have liked but please do pass on our big thanks from all at Gobowen Central Development Group.