Community celebrated in new artwork for Yardley

Painting shows residents and neighbourhood landmarks.

Hobmoor Community Centre batik
A new community centre in Yardley is celebrating its first few successful months by unveiling a piece of artwork made by members of its community. Hobmoor Community Centre launched in November 2015. over two hundred people now access the centre every week.

During a week of free taster events, members of the community were invited to discuss the future direction of their community centre. Working with artist Nicola Richardson, these views were translated into a Batik silk painting. In this technique, selected areas of cloth are blocked out by brushing or drawing hot wax over them. The cloth is then dyed. The parts covered in wax resist the dye and remain the original colour. The process of waxing and dyeing can be repeated to create more elaborate and colourful designs.

The centre of the piece shows a tree, representing Yardley’s main shopping area, the Yew Tree, where a prominent tree once stood. Yew is a tree which regenerates, and in the piece, the leaves show new growth featuring Oasis Academy Hobmoor’s 9 Habits, based on the Oasis ethos (compassion, patient, humble, joyful, honest, hopeful, considerate, forgiving and self-controlled.) Also featured, are prominent buildings in Yardley – St. Edburgha’s Church and Blakesley Hall, one of the oldest buildings in Birmingham.

The piece was unveiled at the community centre in an event with the artists, local residents, as well as representatives from Birmingham City Council. Mercurial Arts, a Coventry-based digital-dance company, led the Community Centre arts project in partnership with Oasis Hub Hobmoor and Arts In the Yard who brought financial support from Birmingham City Council’s Culture On Your Doorstep, a scheme supporting new creative enterprises in the city. The organisations have worked together to launch, and subsequently, give the space back to the community. The new artwork celebrates this journey and the community the space is built for.

The Hobmoor Community Centre is located on Wash Lane, and is part of Oasis Hub Hobmoor which includes Oasis Academy Hobmoor primary school. With several bookable rooms, it is available for activities and classes every weekday evening during term time from 5pm-10pm. Activities currently include Arabic and literacy lessons, a Job Club, fitness classes, martial arts and creative writing. The 87th Bierton Scout Group also has their home at the Centre.

The timetable of activities can be found via the Hobmoor Community Centre Facebook page or