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Community Engagement Public Art Projects, Stamshaw Park, Portsmouth

Deadline: June 19, 2009

Play Pathfinder Play/Community/Art PROJECT


In 2008 Portsmouth City Council were awarded a grant of £ 2.5million as part of the Play Pathfinder to improve 28 play areas and build a new Adventure Playground. We are working in partnership with the City’s Parks Department to deliver this Project

Play Pathfinder is distinct from other play initiatives in that its aim, through this funding, is to design & equip play sites that encourage risk & challenge especially for 8 and 13 year olds. Getting away from the 'off-the-peg' play sites and instead designing 'equipment' that use natural materials and stimulate creativity. It is also about creating initiatives that begin to break down the barriers that children have in accessing their local environment as sites of play i.e. attitudes, road danger etc.

To facilitate the departure in thinking behind the design of Play Pathfinder play sites, the dcsf (department for children, schools and families) in partnership with Play England produced the guide to creating successful play spaces – ‘Design for Play.’

Included in this are: the 10 principles for designing successful play spaces – Successful play spaces…

  • Are bespoke
  • Are well located
  • Make use of natural materials
  • Provide a wide range of play experiences
  • Are accessible to both disabled and non-disabled children
  • Meet community needs
  • Allow children of different ages to play together
  • Build in opportunities to experience risk and challenge
  • Are sustainable and appropriately maintained
  • Allow for change and evolution

Artists' Role

We would like to commission site specific bespoke features on three of our Play Pathfinder play sites that includes and engages the local community in either the design or making of these artworks.

The project is seen as an opportunity for an artist with extensive community experience to work with local schools, local groups and residents to get their ideas and thoughts to shape part of the environment that is on their doorstep. At all times the heart of the proposal should be ideas from the community with a big emphasis on family interaction.

Download the full artist's brief(43 KB)