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Blog Post Bunhill Heritage Education Local History Projects

Bunhill Heritage, 1 Year On: A Preview of Coming Attractions

In 2022, Islington Heritage Service appointment printmaker Georgie Fay as the first Artist-Educator-in-Residence for Bunhill Heritage, a three-year community project that will see three different artists explore the rich history south Islington. Thanks to our local partner, St Luke’s Community Centre, each artist receives a studio space for one year where they can focus on their own practice as well as their development of the project.

St Luke’s Community Centre is a hub for all walks of life in south Islington with a very active range of older service users and a thriving number of families who regularly attend. Fascinated by this age spectrum, Georgie chose to explore the heritage of Bunhill with older residents and primary aged children, as well as forging great bonds with the Women’s Multicultural Group. Georgie visited St Luke’s C of E Primary School and City of London Primary Academy Islington (COLPAI) to deliver a series of workshops encouraging Year 4 pupils to explore community heritage through art and creativity. Each school visited Bunhill Fields and learned more about the many hundreds of years of history on their doorsteps. Pupils even got to use a real-life printing press, as printmaking is a large part of Bunhill’s heritage. De La Rue printers, famous for printing bank notes, once had their offices on Bunhill Row.

Georgie’s workshops were supported by a variety of engagement activities such as walks, talks, craft workshops and family activities which were open to all. Georgie gave six hours per month to the St Luke’s Centre, where she got to know more of the staff and service users. In the past year, Bunhill Heritage has engaged with over 1,000 local people.

Throughout this time, Georgie has been working on her main goal: to create a work of public art that reflects the heritage of Bunhill. She did this with contributions and inspiration from the residents she worked with. Early in 2023, Islington Heritage will unveil Georgie’s work in Bunhill Fields, supported by our partners at the City of London who own and manage the site. We are pleased to provide a preview of in-progress designs by Georgie.

Inspired by the many historic industries that once existed in this part of Islington, Georgie’s artwork consists of printed banners of original artwork, suspended above ground in Bunhill Fields. The banners will hang from a metal ring reminiscent of a printing press wheel, suspended by ropes attached to the trees. Printmaking, ironmongery, and rope making were all industries in Bunhill between the 18th and 20th centuries.

The work of art will refer to more than just these three aspects of heritage, but we are pleased that these will feature prominently in the completed design. We look forward to unveiling the finished design early this year.

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