Battersea Arts Centre: exploring values through local heritage

Not for me. Not for you. But for us!

The history of Battersea Arts Centre spans over 120 years. Originally Battersea Town Hall, the building hosted a catalogue of radical thinkers – from leading suffragettes Charlotte Despard and Emmeline Pankhurst, to John Archer the first Black mayor in London – who argued for the rights of the poor, the disenfranchised and marginalised.

With the stories of these extraordinary figures from Battersea’s past, as a starting point, Battersea Arts Centre invited artists to create a series of art works, each reflecting a different value. These values underpin the work of these brave and principled pioneers, reflect the Arts Centre’s ethos and community and their motto – the original motto of Battersea Town Hall: Not for me. Not for you. But for us!

I created a series of resources for teachers, supporting students to do the same in their school as artists in their own right. To be inspired by these stories and the works of different artists, to explore some of the values that were important to these pioneers and are still important to us today, and to work together to reflect these by creating art works for their school and its community.

The resources also draw on Battersea Arts Centre’s unique SCRATCH process, taking students through an important process of experimentation, consultation and reflection, helping them to develop creative and critical thinking skills and a sense of empathy, to refine ideas and work collaboratively.  

You can view the resources here.