KickstART was a public art project connected to the creation of 106 new homes on the site of Cambridge City Football Club’s grounds in Milton Road by developers Crest Nicolson. It celebrated the history of the club and raises awareness of their move to their new home at Sawston.
In their almost 100-year history, the Cambridge City Football Club grounds in the north of the city have played host to hundreds of games and events for the local community. Now, with the club re-homed, the new housing development on the Mitchams Park site aims to pay homage to the grounds and their contribution to the city's character.
Babylon ARTS supported local artist Zoe Chamberlain to develop a number of strands to this project:
Making The Move - A larger than life footballer ran along the route between Milton Road and Histon Road in Cambridge at the end of September 2014.The footballer was an animation, projected from a specially designed ‘Light Rider’ bike onto buildings along the route - beginning at the Westbrook Centre and ending at Histon Football Club). Briefly illuminating homes and businesses along the way, the animation included drawings by children from Milton Road primary school, and references to the evolution of City’s former Milton Road site – from ancient gravel pit to football ground to new housing development.
Field of Play: Active Landscape - Led by public artist Zoë Chamberlain, in collaboration with Murdoch Wickham Landscape Architects, the next phase of the KickstART project combined year-round public art with a permanent physical art intervention called 'Field of Play’, an ‘Active Landscape' which aims to bring local residents and visitors out of their homes and into the community. Inspired by the grounds' football heritage and the feeling of community the club brought to the area, Field of Play will be a place to reflect, relax, socialise and even exercise. Designed to allow people to sit and relax, or get in a workout through climbing, running jumping and interacting with the piece, Zoë has been working with sports scientist Diane Johnson to ensure the sculptural elements can be used in different ways. The Active Landscape aims to be more than a simple reminder of the area's past.
Field of Play: End Of The Game - Extending inside of the homes on Mitchams Park, sound artists Liminal presented families of each new build with a unique, specially engraved handmade brass whistle. As a sign of respect and as a marker of the site's history, the whistles may be blown only during a 90-minute period from 15:00, annually, on the Saturday closest to the date of the final match played on the Milton Road grounds.
Frances Crow from Liminal said, “The sound of the football crowd is a ‘soundmark’ that defined the area every Saturday. Following Cambridge City Football Club’s move to a new ground, this soundmark is now only a memory. This lost soundmark signified the coming together of a community, whether they watched the game or only heard it from a distance.”
Field of Play: Spirit of Song - Kathryn and Jason Rowland of Sing Choirs are worked with Babylon ARTS to create a celebratory event to mark the completion of the development and the beginning of the era for the site. This culminated in the production and recording of a new anthem ‘Spirit of Song’.
An event on Saturday 30th April 2016, marked the final match played at Milton Road Football Ground and celebrated the new community at Mitchams Park. Babylon ARTS coordinated the event, in collaboration with Zoe Chamberlain, Liminal and Kathryn Rowland. Field of Play will include Zoe Chamberlain’s Active Landscape; a sculptural all-age play facility embedded in the site, Liminal’s End of the Game; a memorial to the lost sound of the football crowd and Kathryn Rowland’s Spirit of Song; a new anthem for Mitchams Park.
Find out more about the project here.