Project

The Redditch Colour Palette

The story so far

In February and March 2024, we ran more than 30 workshops and asked you to tell us your ideas for the Redditch Colour Palette online.

Why? In 2023, Redditch residents told us they wanted to ‘brighten up’ the borough. We decided to run a campaign for Redditch people to come up with their own selection of colours to create a new colour palette that is about Redditch and that local people can use. Because people want to brighten up the borough, we wanted to create something vibrant and fresh – something that Redditch people can be proud of.

100s of you told us your Colours of Redditch. You described our connection to the places we’re twinned with, such as St Elizabeth, Jamaica, the iconic landmarks that make Redditch famous, and about your love for the green spaces that you spend your free time in.

Alongside a panel of local people, we whittled down 100s of ideas to a shortlist of 12, and you voted for your favourites. Over a week at the end of March, around 900 of you cast more than 1,500 votes from all corners of the borough. From there, Artist Stacey Barnfield designed your colour palette. This is a colour palette about Redditch and by Redditch people.

We can’t wait to see what you do with your Redditch Colour Palette.

Photo of Redditch's new colour palette, Photography by Jamie Gray
Photograph of artist Stacey Barnfield

The location of the giant installation

Working with our partners at the Kingfisher Shopping Centre and Redditch BID, we found a superb location for the super-sized public art: the giant 3m x 3m installation is positioned up on the wall above the bright, open area at the junction of Walford Walk and New Walk, inside the Kingfisher Shopping Centre. The artwork will be immediately visible to people after they turn right from New Walk onto Walford Walk, which benefits from masses of natural light, and as they enter the building from outside through the entrance doors from Market Walk. The location was chosen, in part, because of the high movement of people in the area, ensuring a great many people can experience the new art for themselves.

We hope that the new Redditch Colour Palette makes a huge impact on people as they walk through the shopping centre. We want local people to enjoy it and to celebrate it. And we hope that locals, and visitors alike, stop, take a look, and learn a bit more about this amazing borough. 

The artist

Stacey Barnfield is a Worcestershire-based artist, designer and former newspaper editor with a fascination for the heritage and history of the Midlands from a design, typography and ‘place’ perspective. More of Stacey’s work can be seen through the Draw My City artworks project, which encourages people to think of lesser-known places that might not always win architecture awards but are no less important to the people who worked, danced or dined there. Calling on his production journalism skills, Stacey has been commissioned to produce publications in various formats that celebrate architecture and design.  

Stacey’s work has received hugely positive feedback in other towns and cities, so we were reassured that the colour palette would be well received by the people who live, work, and visit the area. 

“The Colour Palette artworks are all about celebrating local; the areas we grew up in, the people who inspire us, the places we love and the buildings we cherish. It’s wonderful that the Redditch Colour Palette has been shaped by people who live, work and play here. My thanks go out to everyone who submitted a suggestion and who voted for their favourite colour ideas.” 

 

Stacey Barnfield

How was the artwork funded?

It was funded by Reimagine Redditch, Kingfisher Shopping Centre and Redditch BID.

Redditch water tower illustration
Tote bag artwork process

How were the colours selected?

100s of you attended creative workshops where you were inspired to think and talk about your memories of Redditch. You were given the opportunity to experience different art forms and creative activities, including music, singing, mosaics, arts and crafts, poetry and visual arts. Many of you expressed strong connections between memories, places and colours. 100s more of you simply submitted your ideas to us online.

The content that features is a combination of the most popular responses from the public survey and the artist’s ideas, to make the most interesting piece of work.

One palette can’t represent the town’s entire illustrious history, but it does offer a snapshot of how local people see the borough in 2024, and how the artist interprets these as part of his artistic practice.

Some of the colours are taken directly from the thing they reference. Some are more cryptic. This is to encourage the viewer to think a little harder about their meaning.

The New Redditch Colour Palette

The inspiration

If you want to know the inspiration behind each colour, here’s a short guide:

 

ARROW BLUE

Arrow Valley Country Park stretches from Forge Mill Needle Museum and Bordesley Abbey in the north to Washford Mill in the south. The River Arrow winds through it, and the 29-acre Arrow Valley Lake is the park’s crowning jewel. 

KINGFISHER TEAL 

The brightly coloured fishing bird is an icon of Redditch that gives its name to the shopping centre

NEEDLE STEEL 

At one stage, Redditch manufactured a staggering 90% of the world’s needles. Redditch has since become famous for many needle-related industries and trends, like tattooing, fishing, and crafting. 

ENFIELD CHROME 

Royal Enfield made its famous motorbikes in Redditch for decades. 

DITCH RED 

The colour of the clay which gives Redditch its name. 

PALACE VELVET  

More than a century old, the Palace Theatre is a much-loved destination, complete with traditional velvet curtains and seats.

Questions Answered

Is this a good use of public money?

Absolutely! The space is a main pedestrian thoroughfare through our town, and this new piece of artwork provides not only a talking point but helps signpost visitors to the types of things they can expect to discover and see during their visit. We’re proud of our town, and this is a brilliant way of celebrating what it has to offer in an interesting and fun way. The panels can also be used in the future to host different kinds of artworks, so we believe it is an excellent use of public money, which will allow us to curate the space over the coming years.

I don’t agree with some of the inclusions in the palettes.

That’s OK. Art is a brilliant way to encourage discussion and debate and see the world from different views and through different lenses. We encourage you to formulate your own opinions about the work. You might consider designing your own colour palettes and sharing them with us.

Paint the town Redditch

The new Redditch Colour Palette is just the beginning for our wider public art project, Paint the town Redditch. The Redditch Colour Palette is an opportunity to hear and represent stories from Redditch people about the place. Paint the town Redditch is a broader programme of public art, which will see physical and digital artworks brought to the borough, both co-created with local people and others which are artist led. The artworks will be developed and installed across different neighbourhoods in Redditch.

 
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