'Park Traces' is a partnership project between Staffordshire University, AirSpace Gallery, and Stoke-on-Trent Council, to creatively document Hanley Park, and create a lasting record of the park as it is today. The artworks generated through the project will feed into the Heritage Lottery (HLF) project, starting April 2013 - drawing attention to the beauty of the park, and also exploring solutions for the areas of the park which need development.

Park Traces is a 12 month drawing and documentation project, which aims to document a year in the life of an inner-city public park, which is in the process of bidding for a £4.9m HLF grant. (A bid development grant of £420,000 has already been secured, which will aim to find out what people want to see happening in the park, and investigating what work needs to be done.)

Park traces brings art students, school children, artists and the local community together for a series of activities and events which research the viability of creative art making (in its widest sense) as a tool for documentation, consultation and engagement in the local built environment and development and regeneration settings.

Hanley Park is an important historic park, being the first Public commission by landscape architect Thomas Mawson. The drawing and other visual information gathering sessions are designed to create a record of the park as it is today, but with a wider aim to create discussion about the future of the park, with residents and park users.

The project documents the 4 seasons, from Spring 2013 - through to Winter 2014 and involves a series of events and drawing activities including but not limited to:
  • Photo walks and text works created by artist Anna Francis, lead artist for Park traces (Spring 2013)
  • A series of one day drawing events and activities for students on the BA hons. Fine Art course, feeding into their studio practice module. (Spring/Summer2013)
  • A week long site responsive project for Staffordshire University students, culminating in a public exhibition, which is then used as a conversation starter with the public (Summer 2013)
  • A week long professional development drawing project for artists or a one off artist residency in the park (Summer 2013)
  • A one day Big Draw event for local schools, plus additional drawing activities with BA Fine Art students. (October/Autumn)
  • A series of photo walks around the park (Winter)
The full project will end with a public exhibition which presents highlights of the year long project, and is an opportunity to invite park users to engage with the HLF project, creating a talking point around the future of the park. Creative consultation techniques will be used throughout the year long project, where appropriate, and a publication to document the findings will be completed in Spring 2014.

We are keen to hear from anyone that would like to get involved in this project, either as a participant, or just to give your thoughts. email: for more information

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