Louise Thirlwall, Project Officer Arts

Many of the Art in the Park projects we are developing in Nene Park are visual arts projects, but it’s often conversations that are at the starting point.

In May these conversations were all about celebration - linked to The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. We started with some inspiring meetings with Keith Hopewell and Nikki Goldup, the artists commissioned to develop our Jubilation! project that has been funded by National Lottery Communities Fund. Then through a series of workshops with The Kite Trust and Thomas Deacon Academy, the artists spoke to young people in the City about lots of subjects - from pets, TV programmes, hobbies and food to the celebrations they take part in, and we also had conversations about identity and wellbeing.  Responding to these discussions, along with drawings and photos, Keith & Nikki designed an inspiring set of murals that celebrate the young people of Peterborough, providing a beautiful and colourful snapshot of those young people’s lives and celebrating this Jubilee year. 

The conversations continued as the artists painted the murals at Thorpe Meadows. As we chatted to walkers, cyclists and runners, we received an overwhelmingly positive response to the new artworks. Everyone told us how it has greatly improved this area and visitors were genuinely pleased that this previously unused area has been transformed into a space for and about young people.


The artworks can be seen under Longthorpe Parkway at Thorpe Meadows alongside a number of other new vibrant murals created by local street artists. The additional murals were commissioned by local music and dance event company Mixology and have created an amazing ‘street art gallery’. When I visit the space it is great to see people exploring the pillars, taking photos and chatting about the artworks. The artists and young people have definitely created something to celebrate and talk about!

Conversations are also the theme of another art project at Thorpe Meadows Sculpture Trail. The appropriately titled Collection Conversations is all about finding out more about the sculptures that make up Peterborough Sculpture Collection. We have been talking to art conservators - to find out what repairs need to be carried out, meeting with public art curators - to find out more about other sculpture collections and trails, walking and talking with local artists - to think about the future of the sculpture trail, and chatting to staff and volunteers about their favourite sculptures. During our creative workshops with visitors and community groups, we have also been making our own sculptures and talking about what new artworks and themes people would like to see in the Park.

I have also had some great conversations with visitors about the nicknames they have given some of the sculptures. I’ll let you explore which sculptures you think have been renamed ‘upside down cow’, ‘fossil’, ‘railway doors’ and ‘Bob’ and there’s still lots to talk about!

If you would like to join the conversation – please get in touch via [email protected]

I would love to know what you think of the new artworks under Longthorpe Parkway or the sculptures in Thorpe Meadows sculpture trail.

The Jubilation! Project has been funded by the Platinum Jubilee Fund, through the National Lottery Community Fund.

Collection Conversations is supported using public funding by Arts Council England.