In celebration of the centenary of William Morris opening the first car factory in Cowley in 1913, and Mini Plant Oxford’s active engagement with the local community, Fusion Arts worked with artists Kleiner Shames, Emily Cooling and Julia Roach to deliver a series of intergenerational participatory workshops to create celebratory artwork. A large collaborative painting and carnival banners were created along with some large painted cars which became part of an ongoing wall mural at Mini Plant illustrating the car production history of the city.
Make Your Mark
The project aimed to involve members of the community in the creation of artwork to form part of a large scale mural around a construction wall at the plant and more permanent installations along the spine road to celebrate Mini Plant Oxford’s “Our Reputation” activities.
Families were invited to attend two open workshops at the Quality Engineering Department of Mini Plant Oxford led by artists James Lorraine-Smith and Emily Cooling to create a series of near life-sized cars and accompanying banners and bunting. The finished cars and bunting were displayed at the Cowley Road Carnival in South Park, where another painting workshop was also led by artist Julia Roach to create a painting of the Carnival in action.
The cut-out cars have formed part of a timeline mural around the constructors wall surrounding the plant’s building extension aimed to increase capacity for the production of the latest mini model, which secured thousands of jobs in Oxford for the future. The mural is expected to remain on site for two years. The cut-out models will then be salvaged from the wall and re-sited within the plant when the building work is complete.
New and refreshed artwork for the Plant’s ‘Outdoor Gallery’ along the Spine Road include the Carnival Painting and a Mini Mosaic artwork created at the Mini Plant Oxfords Family Day as part of this project.