Artworks Creative Communities Artworks Creative Communities

Public Art

Phoenix Women – 100 Years On

Phoenix Women - 100 Years On

Funder: City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council


In 1918 the Ministry of Information sent Flora Lion north to paint women working for the war effort.

In 2018 my sister Ruth sent me an image of Women’s Canteen at Phoenix Works Bradford, and Flora’s stunning painting of Bradford women captured my heart and imagination. Here we were, celebrating 100 since some women gained the vote, but the working class women so vividly depicted would have been too young, too poor to exercise that hard won right. Let’s pay homage to them by recreating and rejuvenating the picture in 2019, and populate it with today’s Bradford women reflecting our range of experience, aspirations and achievements.

– Phoenix Women 100 Years On.

This project was only possible with an enormous amount of goodwill and support. So many thanks to Victoria Hall Saltaire for allowing us to use the venue at no cost, City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council for some funding, CBMDC and Firstbus for releasing and supporting workers to take part, Carolyn Mendelsohn for creatively realising the idea (and so much more), and to all my colleagues at Artworks Creative Communities for advice, encouragement and enthusiasm. And a massive THANK YOU to the Phoenix Women past and present

Deb Collett, Project Coordinator


Phoenix Women – 100 Years On Phoenix Women – 100 Years On



Click here to view the accompanying booklet for the portrait


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Phoenix Women – 100 Years On Phoenix Women – 100 Years On
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EU Bah Gum! Yorkshire Voices on Brexit

EU Bah Gum! Yorkshire Voices on Brexit

Community Engagement | Training | Documentary Film Production

Genre: Community Engagement | Training | Documentary Film Production

Funder: Paristamen CIO

Partner: CameraShy CIC


Artworks Creative Communities received funding from The Paristamen CIO to create a short documentary, in partnership with CameraShy CIC, regarding Brexit.

A small project with big ambitions, the short documentary ‘EU Bah Gum! Yorkshire Voices on Brexit’ was created by a community team, who travelled across the Yorkshire region to engage with members of the public to portray what ‘Leaving the EU’ meant to individuals and communities living in the most socio-economically diverse part of the UK. Most importantly questioning how such disparate and dividing views can bring people together to form a new version of community in Yorkshire and the UK as a whole.

The Project

A 12-month project in which a community film team made of people from the Bradford community, and supported by professional film makers, were trained on interview, facilitation, filming and editing techniques.

A series of Brexit Break-up Cafes were held across the region between June 2018-January 2019. The sessions were an opportunity for positive engagement between those who have different views on Brexit – broadly between those who support a Remain point of view and those who support the Leave argument, and see if there is any scope for reconciliation.

The aim of the EU Bah Gum project is to bring people together in dialogue to explore different views on Brexit. Sessions were held at accessible public spaces and promoted through public channels such as newspapers, voluntary sector, library notice areas and social media. The film is a series of interviews, voxpops and debates, demonstrating how communities at grassroots level are moving forward and giving an opportunity for them to have their voices heard.

The Brexit Break-up Cafes visited the following places:

  • Barnsley
  • Batley
  • Bradford
  • Hull
  • Keighley

The Film

The final documentary was screened at the Delius Arts & Cultural Centre in Bradford, the week before the official Brexit date, on the evening of Thursday 21st March 2019.

EU Bah Gum! Yorkshire Voices on Brexit is now available to view on our You Tube channel. Click here to view.

DVD copies of this film are available on request.

For more information on this project please contact Estelle on 01274 256924 or email:

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World Wide Women of Bradford Art Exhibition

World Wide Women of Bradford Art Exhibition

Exhibition and Workshops

Genre: Exhibition and Workshops

Venue: Of The People, 23 Bank Street, Bradford, BD1 1PU (previously Boots Chemist).

Cost: FREE

Funder: People Can (part of the Great Big Get Together)

As part of the Bradford Refugee Week 2018 programme

Artworks Creative Communities presents:
World Wide Women of Bradford Art Exhibition

A celebratory display of work by Refugee Women who have taken part in Artworks projects. Work includes banners, installation pieces, further textile work and print.

The exhibition is open daily from Tuesday 19th to Friday 22nd between 12.00pm and 3.00pm at Of The People, 23 Bank Street, Bradford, BD1 1PU (previously Boots Chemist).

The exhibition will grow and develop during Bradford Refugee Week 2018 with free daily workshops (open to all women):

Come and try painting with a difference with artists who can
encourage and help you create something to be proud of.

The workshops are 2-hours between 10.00am and 12.00pm:
• Tuesday 19 June – Silk Painting with Musarat Raza
• Wednesday 20 June – Paper Lantern Painting with Musarat Raza
• Thursday 21st & Friday 22nd June – Painting Paths & Dreams with Ruth Fettis

Free entry and everybody is welcome.

For more information email: or call 01274 256919

Facebook Event

Bradford Refugee Week 2018 Programme

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Leeds Heroes

Leeds Heroes

Partner: Canal & Rivers Trust, Leeds City Council and Leeds Waterfront

A commissioned project by Canal & Rivers Trust, Leeds City Council and Leeds Waterfront.

Public artwork, made in consultation with the local community, to celebrate Leeds’ unsung heroes.

The work is to be installed along the waterfront by Leeds Royal Armouries as part of a wider regeneration project.

Further panels will be installed in early 2021 after a public callout.

Callout out for 2021 Leeds Heroes nomination – click here

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Bussing Out

Bussing Out

Oral History Project

Genre: Oral History Project

Funder: Heritage Lottery Fund, BMDC, Ilkley Literature Festival

From 1965 to 1980 many Black and Asian children in Bradford were ‘Bussed Out’ to schools that were miles away from their homes.

Artworks Creative Communities wants to record the experiences of people who were part of Bradford’s Bussing Out story, whether as schoolchildren, teachers, or workers on the buses.

Media Coverage:

Listen to the BBC Radio Leeds feature on the Bussing Out project:
Click here

Watch the BBC News report on the Bussing Out project:
Click here

Read the Telegraph and Argus article on the Bussing Out project:
Click here


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The Living Stories Project

The Living Stories Project

Childrens Storytelling Project

When: 30/08/2016 - 11/10/2016

Genre: Childrens Storytelling Project

Venue: The Gateway Centre, Ravenscliffe

As part of this project we worked with various groups at The Gateway Centre, Ravenscliffe. Artist and Storyteller Irene Lofthouse worked with families to create an original story inspired by Cliff Castle. Attending different weekly sessions Irene and visual artist Kayleigh Wright worked with other groups to make props and lanterns to be used and displayed at Listers Lanterns Parade on the 8th October 2016.

The families involved in making the story performed during the day outside Cartwright Hall.

The Living Stories Project



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The Living Stories Project
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Hidden Voices

Hidden Voices


Genre: Homelessness

Funder: Media Trust, Cooperative Fund

Partner: Bradford College, The National Media Museum, Horton Housing, Bradford Action for Community Care, Primesight, Fabric and Bradford Council.

The Hidden Voices project aimed to use creative techniques to:

  • Give a voice to the homeless community of Bradford through digital and other media
  • Raise awareness of homelessness issues
  • Challenge stereotypes around homelessness

‘Hidden Voices’ was a continuation of Artworks’ work with people who have experienced homelessness. We had previously run a poetry and photography project which resulted in a book of poems called “Forgotten” and had been awarded Highly Commended status in the 2010 Charity Awards for this work.

The initial project idea was suggested by a service user who approached us because he had found creative writing a useful way to build his confidence and wanted to share the experience with other service users. The project ran over a number of years and participants gained confidence and skills through participating in creative writing, animation, photography, IT and digital media. Participants were given further support by Bradford College staff and students who acted as digital mentors. Digital images created by participants were displayed in prominent billboard sites around Bradford City Centre. A final publication, Hidden Voices, was produced documenting the project.

To download a copy of Hidden Voices please click here

To download a copy of Forgotten please click here

Hidden Voices Hidden Voices



The project worked with over 70 participants, achieving some fantastic outcomes. Many of those involved have dramatically changed their lives and situations for the better. Due to increased confidence leading to a more positive outlook on life and changes in their behaviour enabling them to break the cycle of homelessness three participants found employment and one moved out of a hostel into his own flat.

G and A, two participants on the project, have made huge changes to their lives as a result of being involved. G has now set up his own lottery funded support service and A has found employment with a homeless hostel and has developed a game, ‘Square One’ to encourage tenancy sustainment which Artworks worked with him to fund and develop.


I wanted a voice, and through these billboards I have got a voice. Now I’ve got funding to set up my own street paper in Bradford, written by homeless people for homeless people. Participant
Last year was a remarkable one for me. I started the year homeless, and now I’ve got so many projects going on. It’s just all about the journey really. Participant


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Hidden Voices Hidden Voices
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Public Art can have many benefits for communities, individuals and organisations. Not only does a work of art enhance the aesthetic appeal and provide a focal point for a neighbourhood, but by using a participatory process it can help to build community cohesion through a shared sense of identity and belonging.

Whether the finished product is intended to be temporary or permanent, involvement in the creation of public art can empower individuals by giving them an opportunity to feel that they can have a real, tangible impact on their local environment.

Artworks has engaged a wide range of groups in the creation of public art; from children attending nursery school, through to older members of the community who attend a local crown green bowling club. We have worked to ensure that the voices of those who may often feel under-represented, such as those with experience of homelessness, are heard.

Artforms we have used have included stone carving, chainsaw sculpture, billboard art, poetry cut from metal, mosaic and graffiti art.

Engaging communities in creating work

  • For some participants the idea of creating a piece of work that will be seen by a large audience is very daunting. By using a range of non-threatening techniques for engagement, consultation and participation Artworks helps to break down barriers and help people to get involved in creating something really special.

Finding the right artform

  • Artworks uses a range of different artforms to produce its public art, and creates work which is both sensitive to the local environment and reflects the message the work is intended to deliver.

Ensuring a high quality piece of work

  • Over the years Artworks has developed a strong team of artists and suppliers who can deliver innovative projects to the highest standard, on time and within budget.

Celebrating the success of the project

  • For many participants it is important to have the opportunity to celebrate their involvement in creating a piece of public art. Artworks achieves this through celebratory launch events, and by publicising the work through local, regional and social media.

Please see the list of our current and past projects below for examples of our work.

If you have an idea you would like to explore or a training issue you would like to solve then please Contact Us for an informal chat.

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