Gresham's wooden Horse
On Sunday the 24th September 2017 at 2pm, a 5 meter tall wooden horse paraded from the Centre Square in the heart of Middlesbrough to Union Street in Gresham. Here the residents of Gresham took part in a communal picnic to celebrate the horse's arrival.
Gresham’s Wooden Horse (2017) was a project initiated by artist, Isabel Lima, bringing together disparate communities living in the Gresham area of Middlesbrough. Isabel sought to initiate an informal forum for cultural exchange – for old and new Gresham residents to establish a sense of ownership of their neighbourhood.
To thsi end, the Gresham’s Wooden Horse project brought together people from all communities living in Gresham. The project is inspired by the ancient Greek myth of the Trojan Horse, built by Greek soldiers as a means of infiltrating and taking control of the city of Troy. Lima uses this symbolism to stimulate a collaborative action among Gresham’s community.
Through a series of summer workshops led by Lima and her collaborators (including the artists TILT), a group of local people – Gresham residents from different cultural backgrounds – built a wooden horse using the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art’s technical facilities. Participants learnt new craft skills to create the work, and the work is presented around the museum as they are made.
This participatory, place-based project was originally commissioned by Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art and supported by Arts Council England, Platforma Festival/Counterpoints Arts and the Thirteen Community Fund.