The Rags to Riches team have a long history and keen interest in engaging with the wider public and improving the urban environment. This is manifested in the numerous public art projects that we have delivered in our area. Using a waste as a medium, we worked with schools and local community organisations to create innovative, colourful and long-lasting public art works.
Made for Play
After the successful delivery of our Furniture for the Future project, we were able to gain more support to create additional structures for three local schools including Ibrox Primary, St Albert’s Primary and Pollokshields Primary.
Initial collaborative design sessions stimulated and generated ideas for the structures that we then translated into interactive structures for the playground using sustainable materials, such as recycled scaffold boards and waste elements.
This project was designed to enhance physical skills, promote social learning and cooperative effort, and enrich outdoor experiences through interactivity, ownership and innovative delivery methods.
This project was kindly funded by the People’s Postcode Lottery.
I Am Govanhill
Working in partnership with Govanhill Housing association, Friends of Romanolav, along with pupils from Shawlands Academy and other members of the local community, this ambitious project involved a series of upcycling workshops aimed at creating 46 stunningly vibrant and innovative visual art installations celebrating Govanhill’s diverse community.
The works were created using waste plastics, found objects and other post- consumer waste. We estimate that 13kg (each main panel weighing around 600grams) of waste was used and diverted from landfill as result. The participants who took part and the project tutors learned about different cultures through online research, conversations and dialogue with each other. The workshops also included design and making sessions using art, design and craft skills as well as problem solving and composition skills. To create the work we gathered, collected and used an array of discarded everyday objects. such as toys, plastic bags, soft metals, bottle tops, cans, plastic cutlery, broken jewellery and so forth.
All 46 panels were then installed on lampposts along Victoria Road in spring 2016 and is currently still in situ.
This project was kindly supported by Glasgow Life Vibrancy fund, ASDA Foundation and Bemis.
Furniture for the Future
Furniture for the Future is a playground furniture making programme aimed at empowering local schools and community members to make lasting improvements to their shared space.
Our first programme involved school children, parents and community groups who worked together in 2016 through a series of workshops to collectively design and produce fun, much-needed and educational upcycled playground furniture. Our research and previous experience of working with local schools highlighted the need for safe, creative and educational playground equipment that could stand constant use and be long lasting. From initial design sessions with the school children through to production carried out with the help and support of local community members, such as teachers and parents, the Rags to Riches’ team of experienced makers facilitated this project, which was completed early 2017.
Using waste materials such as metal pot lids and hubcaps, plumbers’ pipes and reclaimed scaffold planks, we translated their ideas into physical structures which included water play, sound, dexterity and numeracy games. These interactive play-stations, as we call them, were tested by the children at a launch event and after tweaking and reviewing certain unstable elements were then securely installed in the school playground.
Stalled Spaces 2014-15
The Rags to Riches team was able to deliver a second Stalled Spaces project were we identified and requested to develop another site close to the baths. Kingarth Street has a number of underused small green spaces. The site that we proposed to develop, which is parallel to the Calder Street Peace Garden and backs directly onto the Baths ramp access to the Steamie, was blighted by fly tipping.
Stalled Spaces 2013-14
We aimed to transform the underused ‘Peace Garden’ into a major community attraction with the development of a two environmental art works. The project redesigned the area and produced and installed, with the support of local people and the RSPB, a permanent 30-foot bird hotel art installation featuring 30 individual upcycled bird houses along with large vibrant bottle top mosaic panels made with local primary school children. These installations have transformed the site into a major community art and wildlife area.
During a series of furniture upcycling workshops we were able to design and create a large multi-level planter installation with reclaimed doors and paints. We also involved Urban Roots who provided advice on the appropriate plants and flowers for the shady site.
Zero Waste Scotland Litter and Fly Tipping Fund
We developed and delivered a project focused on raising awareness and creatively tackling litter and fly tipping within the Govanhill community. This two-strand project consisted of school-based activities including innovative bottle tops mosaic workshops with four local prinary schools St. Brides, Annette Street, Cuthberston and Holycross. Also included litter-picking sessions and engaging street performances.
This project provided a framework for changing attitudes in Govanhill as it focused on litter and fly tipping issues using educational activities, community arts practices, dialogue and interactivity.