The Anstee Bridge Project is a cause that’s very dear to my heart and an organisation with whom I’ve worked for many years now. It aims to provide Kingston teenagers who are not achieving their full potential at school with a supportive and creative environment that encourages their aspirations and builds their confidence. Each year Anstee Bridge raises the bar with the ambition of their schemes, and this was their biggest yet.
A Thousand Years of Crime and Punishment was an exhibition at Kingston Museum, designed by me and constructed by James Rowlands. It aimed to capture the goriness of bygone Kingston, complete with stocks, ducking stool, gibbet and numerous rats!
The students all got on board, painting, making dismembered heads, writing poetry and recording video stories about real historic crimes. The most intricate exhibit for me was a reconstruction of Kingston’s original prison, which bizarrely was housed in a pub on what is now the site of the Bentall Centre. I worked closely on this project with my very talented niece, the model-maker Shameem Allen. Click on the images to see the detail.
It’s always extremely satisfying to see young people become enthused with a creative project and to see them stretch themselves and discover skills they never realised they had. The moment when one of the students came into the Grand Unveiling and saw the poem that she’d written painted on the wall of the museum was one I won’t forget in a hurry.
You can read more about the exhibition in the Surrey Comet here.