The trail takes the form of a set of hand-painted ceramic artworks attached to the trees around the park. Each artwork draws connections between a species of tree and its qualities, and a part of local history, e.g. Hazel which is connected to ideas of wisdom and inspiration, with the sculpture depicting the evolution of Halewood Triangle Park amidst the railway lines.
The trail is part of a long-term project called Following the Roots: Stories of Halewood that has involved workshops, a forest-based art club for the community and artist research in collaboration with local historians, Green Space rangers, Knowsley Parks, Halewood Environment Centre, New Hutte Community Centre, local schools, walking and conservation groups, and the public. By gathering and sharing the stories of local people, it aims to bring to life the unique stories of the area and explores the special relationship between residents of Halewood and its trees.
The project was launched on 19th December 2022 with a festive celebration event, featuring a special ceremony created with local schoolchildren, performances and nature workshops.
Councillor Shelley Powell, Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods said:
“This is a wonderful project, which is part of the important legacy of our year as the Liverpool City Region Borough of Culture in 2022. The community has been heavily involved in the creation of these works, which entwine Halewood’s history and natural history in such a beautiful way. It’s a great reason to get outdoors, explore and discover something special in the woods, and there are even more opportunities for people to get involved later in the year.”
Anna Kronenburg, Producer at Heart of Glass said:
“It’s wonderful to be able to unveil this artwork trail after months of research, workshops and community consultation. The park is such a special place for the people in this area and it’s been wonderful to see them come together to share their stories for the benefit of the wider community. We’re so thankful to Fran for creating these beautiful handmade artworks and to all the local residents, park rangers and individuals who gave their time and came along to workshops with Fran, come rain or shine!”
The project is part of a long-term partnership between community arts organisation Heart of Glass and Knowsley Council. The project was commissioned and produced by Heart of Glass as part of its Arts Council England Creative People and Places programme, and an Every Town and Village Tells Its Story project in partnership with Knowsley Council. Made possible thanks to National Lottery players with support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
Maps of the trail are available to collect for free, from Halewood Environment Centre, printed on recycled paper, encouraging visitors to step outside and discover all six sculptures. A digital version of the map will also be available to view at heartofglass.org.uk/FollowingTheRoots. The artwork trail is free to visit and will be accessible in Halewood Triangle Park until 2025. Further workshops are being planned over the summer.
About Heart of Glass
Heart of Glass is a Merseyside-based community arts organisation. We believe that art has the power to bring us together and create real change, for the people of our community, and the place we call home. Through collaboration and conversation, we bring meaningful art projects to the most surprising of spaces throughout St Helens, Knowsley and beyond. Our philosophy is simple: art belongs everywhere, to everyone.
About Frances Disley
Frances Disley is a multidisciplinary artist based in Liverpool with a practice that spans sculpture, participation, performance and installation. In collaboration with others (plants, trees and people) she uses her practice as a vehicle to explore networks of solidarity and mutual support. Fran has exhibited widely and has had work acquired by The Walker Art Gallery and Arts Council England.