A crowd of up to 100 people came to a celebration event at Knowle West Media Centre last week to see the switch-on of the large neon artwork “I’m Staying”.
People cheered as the sign was finally illuminated and glowed red on the front of the building – which is the first venue south of the river to host the artwork by Shaun Balham.
“I’m Staying” is on the move around the city as part of the Bristol Biennial and has already appeared on the side of the M Shed and the Arnolfini. It will remain in Knowle West until September.
The lights were switched on by Director of Knowle West Media Centre (KWMC) Carolyn Hassan and Hannah Clark from Bristol Biennial.
The event had been organised by KWMC Arts Co-ordinator Melissa Mean who campaigned to get the artwork on the straw bale building. She said the sign was particularly relevant to the organisation and to the local area.
She said: “We’ve been based here since 1996 and while the reach and scope of our work has expanded since then – regionally, nationally and internationally – Knowle West stays at the heart of everything we do.
“As well as our journey as an organisation, ‘I’m Staying’ speaks to some of the things we see, know and love in our neighbourhood: fun, determination and a real strength of community…”
Visitors to the event also had the chance to view films about the local Pop up Furniture Factory and had the chance to see a display of sustainable furniture which had been made there. The Factory has now moved from Eagle House in Newquay Road to a permanent base at Filwood Green Business Park.
A DJ entertained the crowds and guests were treated to freshly made food by Steen Kokborg from Knowle West Health Association, helped by a group of young people from the Young People’s Programme at KWMC.