Bristol's Parklife: Spectacular new photographic exhibition celebrating city's green spaces unveiled

Issue date: 17 November 2015

The University of the West of England is set to unveil a crowd-sourced exhibition of photographs celebrating Bristol's parks and green spaces during its European Green Capital year.

The Bristol Parkhive exhibition opens tomorrow (Wednesday November 18) with a series of talks and presentations from staff, students and park volunteers who have been working collaboratively since January on a range of projects to improve open spaces in neighbourhoods citywide.

All images in the exhibition have been submitted by residents and visitors. To date, more than 1,200 pictures have been received and added to a digital photographic archive which documents the variety of ways parks are enjoyed by residents.

Sam Thomson, Bristol Parkhive Project Director, said, “The Bristol Parkhive project has been a brilliant way for UWE's staff and students to work in partnership with volunteers from Bristol Parks Forum throughout European Green Capital year.

“Students and staff have been able to apply their developing knowledge, skills and understanding to live projects which support improved outcomes for Bristol's parks and green spaces. Parks are the most highly used leisure facility in the city and the opportunity to work with Bristol Parks Forum's passionate volunteers, who are collectively committing thousands of hours to help ensure that our city's parks are high quality and accessible in every area of the city, has been a huge privilege.”

The project, a collaboration between the university's Faculty of Arts, Creative Industries & Education and Bristol Parks Forum, will continue into 2016.

Sam said, “My thanks go to everyone who has contributed to the Bristol Parkhive project to date, all of whom have helped to make the project such a resounding success. We're looking forward to the next phase.”

As part of the project, UWE students worked with the parks forum on initiatives including the development of new wildlife trails, design of posters and promotional material, and creation of a new app which guides users to their nearest green space.

Carlos Cortes, a final year MA Graphic Arts student, worked on a project to set up a new cafe on Horfield Common. He produced the visual identity for the cafe and worked with volunteers to develop branding.

He said, “I'm really interested in the social impact of design and enjoyed working so closely with Bristol Parks Forum volunteers on a project which has had such a big and positive impact in their local community. The work I did to co-create a visual identity for the cafe has enabled the group to promote their work further and engage even more residents.

“They are continuing to move onwards and upwards - making improvements to the park which are increasing its use, and encouraging people of all different ages and interests to spend more time there. It has been great to be able to use the skills I have developed at UWE to contribute back to the community through the Bristol Parkhive project.”

The exhibition opens with a launch event tomorrow at 5pm in the F-Block Gallery at the university's Bower Ashton campus. It will run until Wednesday November 25, open to the public daily between 10am and 4pm.

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