Brick Project CIC

COMPANY HISTORY

2011-2015: The first Brick Project was organised and facilitated voluntarily by artist Dan Petley at Hamilton House in Stokes Croft, Bristol. 260 individual bricks were painted by local artists and passers by with paint that had been discarded in the building at the Coexist art studios. Dan ran the drop-in sessions periodically until its completion in 2013. The Brick Project concept was subsequently developed throughout a number of small scale practice sessions at a variety of other sites around Bristol, which included the creation of a community art space at a deserted station box at Royate Hill nature reserve in Greenbank called the Moon Temple.

2016-2018: This work caught the attention of a councillor in Macclesfield, who helped to organise Macclesfield Brick Project at Park Lane underpass. Funded by Macclesfield Town Council, this project was instrumental in developing the interactive online aspect of the company. Dan facilitated this project as a team leader in collaboration with a network of local artists, which resulted in the completion of a tunnel containing 8000 individually painted tiles.

2015-2020: During the creation of Macclesfield Brick Project, Dan started looking after a house in Northern Central Bulgaria where he learnt the Bulgarian language, adopted stray animals and organised creative projects with local Roma families. This developed into a communal space where artist residencies were hosted in collaboration with Workaway, also providing accommodation for activists involved with the charity Food Not Bombs.

2018-2019: Dan organised and facilitated the Karnatsi Brick Project in Bulgaria, using crowdfunded materials. Throughout the project Dan supervised international volunteers at the creative retreat project described above, engaging with this project as a way to support the local community. Both Karantsi and Macclesfield Brick Project were vital in developing systems for training and collaborating with facilitators.

2019: Dan returned to Bristol and Brick Project was developed into a CIC with artist and facilitator Fraisia Bruist-Papazian, incorporating skills in leadership, administration and strategic organisation into the company. Newport Domino Project, funded by Newport City Council in association with National Hate Crime Awareness Week was delivered in October. Training during this project developed strong policies and systems to ensure Brick Project's work will be welcoming to everyone and never express hostility or prejudice towards anyone’s disability, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or transgender identity.

2020: During the Covid pandemic, Brick Project secured funds through a mixture of Crowd and Match funding for Plymouth Brick Project. They ran a socially distanced project at the Moon Temple and an inclusive voluntary Domino Project at PRSC, which ran until 2022. In meetings with PRSC and InHope strategies were developed to properly get homeless people in Bristol involved in projects.

2021: Plymouth Brick Project took place in May as part of the Mayflower 400 Community Sparks initiative. The project hired 14 people and worked with 7 local schools to paint 3125 bricks over 17 days. Mandala was developed and secured some commissions for the following year. David Gould was recruited as a director and Heritage Consultant to identify landowners and the legality of working at particular sites.

2022: The year started with two Mandala Projects, Welcome Back and Kingswood. These were phenomenally popular, so they were adapted for Shambala festival and as a wedding activity. Kensington House Brick Project was delivered at a recovery house in association with St Mungos and Sanctuary Community Fund in August. The biggest Mandala yet, Easton Mega Mandala was begun at Easton Community Centre in association with Quartet and Bristol City Council as part of the Welcoming Spaces Initiative. Katie Single was recruited as a director, to increase the diversity of voices in decision making. The surplus made from wedding projects funded three sessions with the Wild Goose, a food bank and recovery space for those affected by food insecurity run by InHope, resulting in the Wild Goose Rainbow Tiles display.

2023: Easton Mega Mandala was completed in March. A Mandala ran at Bristol City Council's People Power Project event at City Hall on March 25th. Another community Mandala actvity ran at St Paul's Carnival and consultation and community organisation for the Arts Council England funded Newtown Brick Project began in May. The project involved a lot of community consultation and the recruitment of local Community Ambassadors, who were paid to develop local break-out sessions to promote the project and make sure it accurately represented the sometimes overlooked community of Newtown. The project hired 16 people and worked with a majority of the pupils at 3 local primary schools and local residents to paint 2250 bricks over two 14 day phases. Throughout the development phase a community Mandala was made to be displayed in Lawrence Hill Health Centre and both painting phases of the project ended with live performances from local musicians and spoken word artists. Funding from Sirona Foundation enabled a programme of winter workshops at the Wild Goose drop-in centre and other nearby organisations concerned with homelessness and food insecurity, creating an expansion of our previous project called the Wild Goose Rainbow Wall.
We also did preparatory work for our upcoming project in Gloucester.

KEY SKILLS

● Having extensive experience in socially and emotionally engaging diverse groups of people throughout our lives all Brick Project directors are qualified to develop and efficiently carry out internationally respected public art that encourages pride and responsibility.  
● We are caring and listen well, adapting our facilitation style to support each individual.
● We are all experienced team leaders, so we are well equipped and prepared to support and assist each other in a non-hierarchical business structure.
● We are professional communicators, using our knowledge of fine art and popular culture to engage and inspire interest in creative practice.
● We have a wide range of practical experience engaging with and delivering workshops to those with special needs.
● Our own personal experience of housing and food insecurity, disability and neurodivergence increases our empathy and understanding of the struggles faced by participants at our workshops.