Artist-in-residence – Paul Hurley

Paul Hurley is one of three Artists-in-Residence working with local communities on projects to celebrate the regeneration of the Temple Quarter area and document its heritage.  Paul, who is a Bristol-based performance artist, will look at how both human and animal communities inhabit the site and connect with each other.

His insights will be turned into a series of films to be shown on multiple screens to create a thought-provoking and immersive experience.

I’ve lived and worked in Bristol for a number of years but am always seeing it in new ways. The city is always changing, but so am I – my perspective shifts when I meet new people, learn new things about Bristol, or see and observe different lives being lived here. This was one of the starting points for my residency at the Temple Quarter. How can I make an artwork about a city that is always changing? And whose story is most important? Mine? The University’s? Someone who’s been born and raised here? Someone who’s recently arrived and wants to feel welcomed?

This then got me thinking about ‘communities’ (never a simple term) around South and East Bristol and the encounters they might have – encounters with me and my art project, as well as with the broader project of the new campus and the University at large. I have a long history of making performances with communities as well as performances with and as animals, but have never mixed the two. It struck me that in a big development project like the new campus, the communities around it are multiple – both the different human communities that live and work around here, and the nonhumans that also inhabit its spaces.

My plan is to create a performance for video work that will bring together some of these different communities in a kind of council or community meeting to reflect on the area’s past and to think about its future. This meeting will be attended by representatives of different human and nonhuman communities, expressing their interests and concerns. The work will be a space for differences to be explored (differences of opinion as well as differences of lived experience), and to consider how the campus might fit into a broader ecology of human and nonhuman lives in the city.

Fun Palace Barton Hill Settlement blog: – 6th October

On a slightly cold and rainy October day I went to Barton Hill Settlement, to take part in one of Bristol’s annual Fun Palace events. The Settlement is a community centre dated back to the early 1900s. There are some interesting archival photos here. Although the clothing and the centre might look very different today, the activities of the centre remain focused on creating opportunities for local residents to participate in positive and life-affirming activities. Fun Palaces are an initiative that “promotes culture at the heart of community and community at the heart of culture”. At Barton Hill, the day brought together artists, University staff and families to play video games, make bubble paintings, eat samosas and enjoy a free lunch from Food Cycle.

I used the opportunity to do a creative mapping exercise with families, drawing a map of East Bristol and asking people to draw where they thought different nonhuman communities might live. I discovered not only that most children can draw animals better than I can, but that they see the city as a place shared with a huge a range of nonhuman animals. As well as obvious ones like cats and dogs, people drew ladybirds, snakes (spotted near the river Avon), gulls, bats, nits and a pet tortoise. Almost 60 species (although that included a panda, two monsters and a reindeer).

Just one afternoon spent chatting to families not only opened up my own thoughts about the nonhuman communities around here, but felt really encouraging about how the project idea can connect to peoples’ imaginations. We will see how bringing human and nonhuman communities works – maybe the final piece will include a panda and a monster!

 

What will education look like tomorrow? Martin Parker looks at how universities can help local economic regeneration

Martin_Parker

Universities are clearly important players in their local cities, with huge effects on employment, housing, and culture. Bristol is no exception, with the Temple Quarter project by the main railway station set to transform that area of the city and have huge effects on its neighbouring communities. I am the new Director of an institute established at the University which tries to understand just how the development can maximise benefits for the citizens of the city who often have nothing directly to do with higher education. Why should they care about Temple Quarter?

Speaking at the Economics of Happiness conference at Bristol Harbourside in October, I will be talking about my research on what university Business Schools should be doing to help local economic regeneration. Together with Sado Jirde from the Black South West Network, and Chris Brink (ex head of Newcastle University) we will be discussing just how universities shape dominant ideas. What are the roles and responsibilities of universities in relation to local economies? Can higher education respond better to the needs and demands of society? Can it help create different futures?

Given the challenges that face us, we will need economies that are low carbon and hence more local. This probably means smaller organizations, and a renewed attempt to govern and think in regional or civic frames. The age of the big organization might be behind us, and we need to plan for a future in which we can no longer afford long supply chains and a throwaway society. Neither can we afford the kind of social exclusions which mean that organizations tend to be dominated by middle aged white men. We know that the future will not be the same as the past, so can universities begin to shape it?

Martin Parker

Mustafa Rampuri, Research and Innovation Programme manager for Temple Quarter – Bristol Faces

“I’ve been at the university for 14 years and during that time I’ve been involved in lots of projects that cross the boundary between the university and industry. My role is to oversee the TQEC Research and Innovation programme and the Quantum Technologies Innovation Centre (QTIC). “

Mustafa Rampuri, Research and Innovation Programme manager for Temple Quarter talks about how QTIC will unlock new opportunities. #bristolface

Read the full interview here.

Down the figurative rabbit hole: Aidan Shilson-Thomas takes us on a historical journey

Aidan Shilson-Thomas is one of our students who is capturing the rich history of the Temple Quarter site. Read his findings about how a 200-year old visitors book revealed the secrets of Bristol’s imperial past.

History students working in the archives

As part of the team tasked with researching the History of the site where the University’s Temple Campus will be built, our brief sometimes seemed overwhelming: ‘Find out about the people who lived and worked there’. Sounds simple enough?

The land around Bristol’s enterprise quarter has been farmed, worshipped on, industrialised, deindustrialised, developed and levelled time and again for over 1000 years. The campus will be a major development, but from a historical perspective it’s just another blip on Bristol’s map.

With such rich history we were faced with a true mountain of source material. The archival records ran to hundreds of ‘items’, and some of these were hundreds of pages long! It’s no surprise, therefore, that we sometimes chanced on the unexpected. When you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, or even exactly what you’re looking at(!), the smallest detail can take you on a trip through the archives.

On the same land where part of the new campus will be built, 400 men, women, and children worked for John Hare & Co. in the 18th and 19th centuries, producing stunning decorative floorcloths that were sold around the world. A visitor’s log from the 1800s shows that people visited from as far away as Barbados, Cuba and New York.

Reading through the log, I had expected to see some international visitors. But an entry which took us all by surprise was for three signatures which had been marked as being from the sons of the King of Ashantee. What on earth were three African princes doing in a carpet factory in Bristol?

We learned that they weren’t there voluntarily. These princes were hostages to the British government after a treaty with the Ashantees broke down. Whilst in Britain, it was claimed that they had ‘greatly profited by care and attention bestowed upon their education; they [then] engaged in a tour through England to inspect the different manufactories…previous to their return to their native country.’

In light of this we re-examined another entry from an ‘Edward George Jenkinson, in service to the New Zealand government.’ Some digging revealed that Jenkinson was a translator who served the governor of New Zealand, and that he had brought 11 high-ranking Maoris to England in 1863 to teach them about British industry. This was, reported the Scotsman, so that they could ‘obtain such general information respecting the greatness and power of England as may prove a benefit to themselves and to their several tribes on their return…’

The Maori’s were also introduced to Christian leaders and visited the home of John Wesley. The Ashantee princes had received a similar treatment, and the papers reporting on their tour claimed that they had become ‘sincere and true converts’ to Christianity.

From these signatures we discovered a different history of the site to the one we’d been looking for. As a key manufacturing site, an exemplar of British industry and enterprise, John Hare & Co. became a means to carrying out the ‘civilising mission’. It was part of a process of religious and social indoctrination that was meant to acculturate not only the Ashantee princes and the Maori leaders, but also, eventually, the people who they ruled in Britain’s empire.

The history of the site of the new campus can give us a sense of perspective. The campus will be the next chapter in the site’s history, not the first. It was an ‘enterprise zone’ long before we decided to call it one! It also gives us fresh insights into the city that we all live and work in. Bristol has an intimate, complicated and problematic association with Empire. Our site’s history newly reveals one of the many ways that this was forged and reinforced.

 

 

Meet the team – our new head of programme delivery

Nicola Key is the Head of Programme delivery for the Temple Quarter Campus taking over the reins from Neil Bradshaw. She oversees the whole range of activities that are required to design, build and operate the new campus. We caught up with Nicola to see what attracted her to working for Temple Quarter and what she thinks of the project and the wider university.

I was excited to work for the Temple Quarter Programme as I really enjoy roles where I can create a large impact on society. I see the campus as vital for the ongoing expansion of the University. I’ve lived in Bristol since 1996 and have seen significant levels of urban regeneration within the city centre over the last 20 years. I’ve always been mystified as to why the area around Temple Meads station contains so many derelict buildings and looks so shabby. When I found out about the new campus project I was thrilled that finally the arrival at Temple Meads station would be revitalised.

Being new to the university, my view is that it’s thought of within Bristol as a bit of an ivory tower. There are some incredible people here from over the world as well as lots of inspiring people from the UK. The buildings are not particularly accessible and are generally considered closed to the people of Bristol. I see Temple Quarter changing that, it’s going to be much more of an open site, more collaborative and will involve many more organisations and people from around the city. The campus will allow more people to visit, members of the public will be able to visit socially and for training. It will be a step change in the way that the university has been seen to be operating and takes it back to its original roots where it once set out to be a civic university. I think it has lost some of that along the way and so the new campus will really help us to create an environment where we have open doors to a wider audience.

The space inside the buildings will be about collaboration and knowledge sharing between different groups of people, between students on different courses across different schools and faculties or between businesses and community organisations. This will mean a change in the way that we teach. Students will have the opportunity to sit on projects working alongside businesses throughout their academic course rather than having to spend a year away, so it will provide a much more integrated and enriching study experience for our students.  Having been a student on a thin sandwich business studies course in the 1980’s, I spent term time both in and out of the university, however the experience in the business was completely disconnected from the learning. The Temple Quarter Campus is a great opportunity to integrate project work with learning and it’s a completely different approach that I can see will be a huge benefit to our students.

We are keen to collaborate with people from across different areas of the university to get some ideas about how we want the campus to work so please do get in touch with the team if you would like to be a part of this exciting new project.

I started at the university in July 2018 and my favourite thing about working her so far has been the people. I have been welcomed with open arms and had a fantastic reception, it’s been amazing.

Awais Rashid, Professor of Cyber Security – Bristol Faces

“I was attracted to the University’s academic excellence and its future ambition. Particularly the Temple Quarter Campus and the ambition to be a modern civic university that’s integrated with the city and has a social mission.”

Awais Rashid, Professor of Cyber Security at the University of Bristol gives his views on cyber security, Bristol and the Temple Quarter Enterprise  Campus #bristolface

Read the full interview here.

Goodbye to the Cattle Market Tavern

In May Bristol City Council demolished the Cattle Market Tavern to help make way for the university’s new Temple Quarter campus. Built in 1910, this is not the first time the Tavern was pulled down as it was rebuilt in 1915 when G.W.R. extended Temple Meads over most of the old cattle market. The Cattle Market Tavern won’t be forgotten though. A group of students are currently researching the history of the site and our artists- in-residence will start work soon to help capture stories of the area including those that used to drink at the Cattle Market Tavern.