We were commissioned by DONG Energy, a global energy leader, to develop an artwork for site hoardings at their operations and maintenance base in Birkenhead. We are constructing the facility, which will service DONG Energy's Burbo Bank and Burbo Bank Extension offshore wind farm.
The community artwork project involved the development of a design for the hoardings at the site adjacent to Kings Wharf, working with art and design students and lecturers from the local community in The Wirral and Merseyside.
We worked with Mike O’Shaughnessy, senior lecturer in Senior Lecturer in Graphic Design & Illustration at Liverpool John Moores University. The aim was to create a hoarding design that could be seen from boats crossing the river as well as from the Liverpool side. A bold design was developed, on the theme of ‘a love letter across the Mersey’, to be unveiled on Valentine's Day. Mike shared his approach to the project in this blog post.
The handwriting had to speak to a range of different stakeholders. Mersey Ferry and Cruise liner traffic sail within yards of the development. The drawing style had to be accessible and combine a calligraphic approach with legibility. Whilst appealing to the general public, it also had to have a quality that would speak to more marginalised groups. The design had to talk to the people who previously defacing the existing panels.
We organised a workshop with local poet Nathan Jones delivering a session on ‘changing horizons’ to art students from Wirral Metropolitan college. The students developed poetic quotes reflecting on their responses to the changing horizons of the Wirral and the Mersey, some of which were included on the final panel of the hoarding design.
The poetic quotes were also included in a 16-page A6 booklet which was distributed locally.