Pioneering photographer inspiration behind project
A NEW project aiming to raise the profile of the Western Flyer cycle route between West Swindon and the town centre is being rolled out today by Create Studios.
Hosting a pop-up session at West Swindon Library today between 10am and 12pm, a team from Create will be inviting people to come along to their mobile studio and share memories or stories from the area.
Set up in honour of William Hooper, a prominent photographer in Swindon in the early 20th century, the project will also be showcasing an exhibition of his works.
Jo Beal, outreach projects manager for Create Studios, said: “The entrance to the Sheppard Street underpass marks the start of the route, which runs all the way through to Mead Way in West Swindon.
“This Friday we will be in West Swindon to launch the project, running the first of our series of drop-in sessions.
“We will have our Create mobile studio van with us, which houses a range of digital media equipment for people to come and have a go with. We will also be able to show people some of the photographic archive of William Hooper, who inspired the whole project.
“The William Hooper archive is amazing. He worked for the railway works and there are a treasure trove of images of the interiors of all the historic buildings around the town.
“The studio are also going to be putting together a series of films and soundscapes, and we hope to illicit a response from people in the area. One of the aims of the project is to make people aware of the route and its social heritage, hopefully also increasing the numbers of people using it for walking and cycling.
“Create are making a new app for Marking Time Along the Western Flyer, and all of the content we will be creating will be used in the app. We would like to invite people to photograph the route and bring all of those together in workshop sessions along with short films we will be putting together.”
Scott Farlow, lead artist for the project, said: “The project came out of the original initiative to enhance the cycle route between the town centre and West Swindon.
“I was commissioned to produce some mapping works, but I like to understand a bit about the places I am working in. I had never walked the route before, but when I did I noticed a number of things that were really interesting about it, and I had the sense it was quite rich in narrative.
“Part of it used to be an old canal, and there is very little evidence any more of its former use. I really like the idea that if you think imaginatively you can make the connections between people and places.
“We want to talk to people not just about the route but where they live and the stories they might have, perhaps even bringing people together to share those stories.”
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