We work with a whole range of community partners and are always looking for more! Our projects so far have included schools, children’s centres, higher education groups, family groups and local youth charities. Most of our projects involve bringing participants together with a creative practitioner in order to explore the House and develop a creative response. We believe that Stowe House is for everyone so we give time and space to displaying our community projects – we love how Stowe continues to inspire people!
Are you a community group or creative practitioner that would like to work with us? Contact us for details of upcoming projects.
This project created a piece of textile wall art which is on permanent display in our Visitor Welcome Centre. The project ran from December 2014 – June 2015 and involved a group of Year 8 Textiles students from the Hazeley Academy, Milton Keynes working with exciting young textile designer Salah Ud Din. Salah had recently graduated from Central St Martins and brought plenty of enthusiasm and vision to the project.
The project involved exploring the House for a day, working on creative activities with Stowe School students and several workshops with Salah in the Hazeley Academy. These included learning techniques such as foil printing that students wouldn’t normally do, making the decorative pieces for the final piece as well as developing ideas on the story that the students would like the final piece to tell. Salah then worked with the students’ input to develop the design of the wall art. You can see the students’ favourite techniques and the story that they wanted to tell of fortune and loss (with a very important sheep’s journey through all of this!) in ‘A Story Woven from Stowe’.
This cutting-edge project saw the creation of our first Summer exhibition, produced in co-creation with avant-garde fashion designer Luke Brooks, and a group of young people from Banbury Young Homeless Project. Luke has created headpieces for the likes of Lady Gaga, and uses household items and even tooth-filling gum in his work! Both Luke and the young people were inspired by their visits to Stowe, where they looked at Stowe’s rebels and icons in the past, as well as the role of textiles in Stowe’s past. Working together, Luke assisted the group to create expressive and contemporary fashion pieces. These were then displayed in the House’s historic rooms during August 2015. This project offered a unique opportunity for the young people from Banbury Young Homeless Project to create a public exhibition; it even featured in Garage Magazine!
We worked with furniture students from Buckinghamshire New University, offering them the opportunity to design a creative seating element for visitors in our new Welcome Centre. This was presented to the students as an open competition. They visited the House in February 2015 and were asked to submit a design which creatively responded to Stowe. We chose Katie Christian as the winner from an impressive field of entries as her proposal brought House and Gardens, art and nature together, much as Stowe does itself. Katie went on to finalise her plans and build the seat with support from her University team. It has been a great opportunity to develop her future career. The final piece ‘Ferrum Ligum’ sits proudly at the entrance to the Welcome Centre.
This is an ongoing and ambitious project to create several different items which provide interactive ways to engage the very youngest children that visit the House. We worked with a range of groups including children’s centres and a family art group to develop ideas for our Fantastical Furniture and make sure that they provide a playful experience of some of our historic rooms. So far, we have worked with local artists Miranda La Mutanta and Anne-Marie Cadman to create a magical Wardrobe, a Lion’s Casket of treasures and a ‘marble’ Column and mirror that lets you see our ceilings in a whole new way! We have plans to build some more of these, so visit us to see what happens next…
This film project brought Creative Media students from Stantonbury Campus, Milton Keynes, together with film-maker Peter Ralley to record some of the House’s restoration projects. It was a great opportunity for sixth formers to gain the experience of real-life working, especially when working around scaffolding towers with their filming equipment! This was a long-term project, running from autumn 2013 to Easter 2015 and this meant that a greater number of students could be involved. Students were able to include their work in their course portfolio as well as drawing on the experience from this project in higher education interviews. The final film plays as part of our permanent exhibition in the Discovery Centre.