Stoke’s London Road connects the buzzing, active communities of Boothen, West End and Oakhill to the town centre along a long, straight road that’s full of history, unusual buildings, old architectural features and public spaces waiting to be brought to life.
And it’s where Revolutionary Arts founder Dan Thompson will spend the next year as artist-in-residence for the whole road, collecting stories, working alongside local people, and making connections between communities. He’ll be living for a quarter of the year in Penkville Street, one of the steep terraces that climb off London Road.
This year-long artwork has been commissioned by Appetite, one of Arts Council England’s Creative People & Places programmes. Dan will be working closely with local community groups SWOCA and Second Look Stoke.
Dan’s project uses the whole street as a venue. As he uncovers stories from London Road, they’ll be marked by the reanimation of unloved spaces, restoration of original features, reinvention of forgotten buildings, gentle reminders of why the road is special, and regeneration from the bottom up.
It will end in the publication of a book. This will be a psychogeographical, slightly fictional telling of the story of London Road, from one end to the other, from the Roman to the modern day. In that writing, focused on one special road and the people who use it, he’ll tell the whole story of Stoke.