BREAD art logo type
participation | media | technology | art

routes to play

Routes to Play worked with communities throughout Blackburn and Darwen to explore play and play spaces between September 2011 and May 2013. Delivered in three parts, the project was commissioned to develop links to the recently installed Pathfinder playspaces, and explore incidental play between them.

Part 1 was an audit. We visited each of the twenty six target play areas and discovered many more on our travels. Each playspace was documented in photographs and writing to produce a detailed record of, and emotional response to it and its immediate locality.

Part 2 was about experimenting. With a good sense of the context of play facilities throughout the borough developed in part 1, we identified six key areas to focus on, which we felt created a representative cross section of play.

A distinctive cart - The Playmobile - was constructed and pulled through neighbourhoods piquing curiosity and inviting conversation and giving the project an instant sense of presence. Once at a destination, The Playmobile transformed into a classroom, dining area or art-space and provided the backdrop to a series of formal and informal interventions and engagement activities at schools, at community centres, in play areas and on the street.

Play is alive and full of surprise, spontaneity and magic in Blackburn and Darwen!

Part 3 was titled “we play HERE”. We continued our imaginative, participatory approach and focused on digitally documenting play activity in specific areas.

We worked with pupils in schools, created a series of street-based interventions and defined routes between play areas. Using footage recorded by us and participants, we built up an archive of clapping games, snowball fights, chalking, bike riding...

A series of enamelled panels have been permanently installed throughout the borough to highlight the engagement and participation that was undertaken. Each contains a QR code which, when scanned with a smartphone, takes the visitor online to a digital gallery showing the activities that took place at that specific location.

The project website provides a snapshot of all of the encounters that took place during the project and reveals something of the characteristics of local neighbourhoods. The markers create a tangible link between the physical world where the work was created, and the online world where it is presented.

We hope that in years to come, participants will return to these neighbourhoods, scan the code and show their children and grandchildren how and where they played. t:+44 (0) 774 884 7029

site design by David Boultbee ©2013

we are BREAD art

We create unexpected encounters which gently ask you to slow down, stop for a moment and take in your surroundings in the hope that you'll notice something new.

We are artists, makers and creative thinkers, with strong social focus, inspired by spaces and the public realm. We use light, sound and interactive technologies to create the unexpected and seemingly impossible.

We create original and engaging works - multi-sensory experiences, often integrating visual, audible and interactive elements, that invite discovery, develop a sense of place, and encourage audience interactivity with both the work and each other.

We have wide expertise. We develop exciting and ambitious projects. Our creative thinking is backed by the experience to deliver. We work across varied locations, indoors and out, in harsh environments and on sensitive sites.

Our work ranges from community consultation and design and build for the public realm to bespoke creative technology development for private projects. Clients include local authorities, arts organisations, national museums and international companies.

Access to art and creativity is empowering. It engenders a feeling of having a voice, develops a profound sense of identity, ownership of and belonging to the places where we live, and provides a forum from which to explore our own surroundings and links to others.

BREAD delivered its first project in 2009 and is led by David Boultbee t:+44 (0) 774 884 7029