Wonder Water Trail

We’re creating a very special walking trail for the canal alongside Perry Barr Stadium.

A team of 5 creative women are producing art in response to the female experience of walking local canals for Wander Water, a Gallery37 North commission throughThe Company Ltd.

Between now and the launch in September … sound, dance, visual arts and photography sessions are inspiring new work to encourage women to enjoy this Canal and Riverside Trust canal walk.

Beautiful wayfinders will reveal a digital trail accessed through QR codes along this 5000 step walk.

As seen in the WMCA case study:

From Perry Barr to Spaghetti Junction is a three mile stretch of canal and nature trail that many people don’t know exists. In order to encourage more people – especially women – to walk along that stretch of canal, experience nature and feel safe, Gallery37 North sought an artist/s to deliver a public art project, run in partnership with the Canal & River Trust.

They were looking for someone who could design and implement a project to enhance the three mile walk along the stretch of canal between Perry Park and College Road, providing additional information on access and entry points.

Nikki Riggon, Senior Creative Producer G37, run by Punch Records in partnership with Saathi House said: “We did some research and took some walks along the canal and we found that females generally felt uncomfortable; they didn’t know their exact location and what was the quickest route if they needed to leave.

“Generally, there tends to be a much stronger male presence on the canal and that can make women feel intimidated. Although we did see a group of young people doing yoga and meditating, there are long stretches of canal that people are missing out on and we want to make people aware of them and encourage them to keep walking.”

Janette Bushell’s The Company was chosen to fulfil the brief. Her group consists of a wide range of female creatives from digital to dancing to photography. Over the next month or so they will be using their specific skills to enhance the experience of walking along the canal.

There will be different art pieces to encourage people to continue walking and QR codes on signposts will enable people to access information about the local environment – not just safety information such as police contact numbers and links to the local authority – but introduce them to art works inspired by the locality including sculptures and photography.

It is hoped the project will change the experience of walking local canals, particularly for females providing the opportunity to change perceptions and increase footfall along Birmingham’s canals while promoting health and wellbeing.

Read the full article here