Ashford Banners; A Story of Community Strength
Local community groups around Ashford have been harnessing their creative skills throughout lockdown to make a series of unique and colourful banners, creating an artistic and never-seen-before walking trail across the town centre.
Last October local artists collaborated with community groups through banner making workshops, with organisations including Branch and Brush, Sk8side Youth Centre, Ashford BME Association, Repton Trust, Made in Ashford and students from Ashford College and Liv2dance Studios. The results of the workshops will finally form a woven wonderland of beautiful artwork across the town centre this May 2021.
The workshops were kick-started with help from leading UK banner artist, Ed Hall. Hall is renowned for banner making and his eclectic and colourful banners have inspired the work of Turner prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller and were integral to Alan Kane’s Folk Archive in 2007, with work also exhibited in Paris, Belgrade and Shanghai.
Talking about the inspiration behind the banner, Mr Hall said: “I wanted to make a banner celebrating food and drink from the Garden of England. As Dicken’s said, ‘Everyone knows Kent’ so it will feature cider, wine, hops, apples and farming and people enjoying life. The banner will be aptly displayed in Macknade Fine Foods shop window (in Elwick Place).
“It also includes other Ashford sights including the Mark IV Tank, symbol of man’s folly, and the Eurostar symbol.”
The banners will be installed in the shop windows of local businesses from Saturday 1st May. Keep your eyes peeled for the beautiful banners popping up across the town in the following locations:
- Ashford College (Elwick Road)
- Bare Bazaar (Park Mall Shopping Centre)
- Daisy Elephant Craft Den (Norwood Street)
- Emporia Fabric & Craft (Park Mall Shopping Centre)
- Liv 2 Dance (Park Street)
- Made in Ashford (Park Mall Shopping Centre)
- Macknade Fine Food (Elwick Place)
- The Little Teapot (Park Mall Shopping Centre)
Visit the Love Ashford page to view the trail map.