It’s All About The Road

London Road (2014-2015)

spreadsThe stories collected from one road become the history of a city, and that becomes the history of England.

From June 2014-June 2015 Dan Thompson was artist in residence on London Road in Stoke.

Dan wrote a book, It’s All About The Road, a complete history of Stoke from the Ice Age to twenty years in the future, told through stories from the one road. The stories from one road become a history of the city, but it’s also a history of England.

On London Road, 150,000 pieces of pottery are made by Portmeirion, and 15,000 buns are baked in a steam-powered bakehouse – every week. Dan’s discovered lost canals, lost railways, and a million lost golfballs, and found connections to Margate, Charles Darwin, the man who designed the most reproduced work of art ever, and Jonah.

As part of the residency, Dan also worked with local artists, makers and designers to celebrate London Road’s stories. He held Art Lunches, seedfunded #chumbrella, led walks and commissioned Bottom Knocker, a piece of music made from sounds recorded in the Portmeirion Factory.

A year as artist-in-residence for the whole road, collecting stories, working alongside local people, and making connections. This year-long artwork was commissioned by Appetite, one of Arts Council England’s Creative People & Places programmes, with local community groups SWOCA and Second Look Stoke.

You can catch up with the residency, and see how people joined in with the project, with the Twitter hashtag #allabouttheroad or the a Facebook page.