Karen Allerton arts
Nico Ditch - Longsight
I worked closely with Groundwork MSSTT and Eastlands Homes to create a community lead artwork for a pocket park, in Longsight, Manchester.
The site is on part of what was an Anglo Saxon ditch, (of which little is known). An archaeological survey was inconclusive as to its purpose, but legend has it that it was constructed to defend the area from a Viking invasion and that every man along its length had to dig a trench to the height of his head in one night.
Working with children from the housing estate, we looked at both Anglo Saxon and Viking artifacts and illustrations. Using modeling clay, wax resist and watercolors and by embossing onto metal foil, we created the characters that retold the local legend of the Nico Ditch.
Not only did the project promote a sense of pride and ownership of the park for the children and their families, it also re-enforced historical knowledge gathered at school and put it into a local context.