A two year project in Queen’s Park, Bedford exploring cultural capital in contemporary society
Gigs 4 Kids
Gigs 4 Kids promotes the joy of music to children and families in Bedford
Dance Beds focuses on the intersections of choreographic innovation, widening participation, diversity and social justice
Teasing Out Contingencies
As British society becomes increasingly polarized we invite you to take part in the active making of a series of performances with artist Quilla Constance
Airship Dreams is a creative enquiry into Bedford's identity as the historical centre of the UK’s airship industry
Make Way For Culture
Make Way for Culture is a funded programme of activity championed by Central Bedfordshire Council in partnership with The Royal Opera House Bridge that aims to increase collaboration between the education and cultural sectors in Central Beds.
Women Of Bedford
BCA are working in partnership with the Women of Bedford group (WOB) on an exciting project to include women in the public artworks around the town, in recognition of the significant contribution they have made locally, in politics, the arts, business, education, health, social care and science.
Has lockdown changed you? What new or old paths have you found, and what ways of living have you unlocked? In response to the coronavirus pandemic, we invited BCA’s project artists and creatives to reflect on their lockdown experiences. We asked them to share their current artistic influences, how their practice has changed, and what
Sadie Hennessy invited people to create a series of new souvenirs for Bedford, set in the future not the past.
Clubhouse (2018) The Film
A collaborative, non-fiction short film by Julie Myers and Maria Anastassiou, based on their Clubhouse project set on two streets in Bedford.
Tomorrow’s Great Pageant
Re-imagining the iconic Suffrage play A Pageant of Great Women, for a 21st Century non-binary context.
The BCA programme for Refugee Week Bedford 2019 featured Red Ink by Wayward Thread, a film of the work Asma by Theatre Témoin and Love from Syria by Roshi Nasehi.
AIRSHIP DREAMING AT THE LIBRARY
The beginning of an artistic enquiry into Bedford's association with airships, led by artist Mike Stubbs
A year-long inter-generational filmmaking project by Julie Myers and Maria Anastassiou located on two residential streets in the Queen's Park area of Bedford.
Selfie Slot Car Championship Flitwick
The return of this F1 inspired artwork by Chris Dobrowolski
Tea Alchemy at the Bedpop Science Lab 2018
We invited you to join artist Jan Uprichard and Unilever tea expert, Ryan Clifford, to investigate the science of tea drinking
The Bedford banner by Quilla Constance and women of Bedfordshire for the mass participation artwork PROCESSIONS
Love From Syria
For this year's Refugee week BedMID launched Love From Syria.
Translation of Love
For Refugee Week 2018 BedMID launched Translation of Love by Hope Givers Choir.
Symposium: The Question of Collaboration
In September we had an afternoon of lively discussion, sharing and debate on the question of ‘true’ collaboration between artists and communities.
THEATRE TÉMOIN’S ‘ASMA – ROUTES BEDFORD’
A large-scale puppetry and sound installation theatre piece by Theatre Témoin with the local refugee, migrant, Bedford community groups
If you work in the arts, run a creative business, are a freelance artist, actor, producer, maker or musician (or commission them), or are just curious, this network is for you. Creative Bedfordshire monthly events take place across Bedfordshire, delivered by Bedford Creative Arts and is free of charge to attend thanks to the support
Contemporary Artists Bedfordshire
Contemporary Artists Bedfordshire We aim to offer support and development to artists both locally and beyond. You can sign up for our mailing list to be kept up to date, or check our What’s On page for our next Contemporary Artists Bedfordshire event. If you would like to speak or suggest topics for one of our
Animating Environments in Queen’s Park
Following on from our In Situ Cinema project in Queen’s Park, Bedford in July 2016, we invited the residents of Chester and Carlisle Roads to join us and artist Maria Anastassiou in a second filmmaking project.
Choreographer, dancer and educator Subathra Subramaniam worked with us to develop a series of dance and movement workshops focused on self-expression for Weatherfield Academy, Dunstable, as part of the research and development phase of her newest work ‘Unkindest Cut.
Animating Environments at The BedPop Science Lab 2017
BedPop participants were invited to fly over Bedford, host their own weather forecast and land on their very own planet as we de-mystified the TV green screen.
In Spring 2017 Bedford Creative Arts brought dance-tech innovators Pell Ensemble to Bedford to present their new interactive dance performance, David, and complete a residency in Putnoe Primary School and Mark Rutherford Upper School.
An encounter between one adult audience member and one child performer, high up overlooking the town…
Hear Her Singing
Hear Her Singing, Exhibition at Southbank Centre, London. With thanks to Ministry of Culture, Taiwan
The Frog at Riverside Square
The Frog by William Rounce is a permanent, site-specific public artwork at Riverside Square in Bedford.
Dump It On Parliament Revisited
Step back in time to the post-punk scene of the mid 1980’s. Think Siouxsie Sioux, a DIY ethic, scratch video, protest, Thatcher. This is the backdrop to Dump It On Parliament Revisited, a new living history artwork exploring counter-culture local history, and created by artists Dash MacDonald and Demitrios Kargotis (DASHNDEM) and artist/musician Roshi Nasehi.
PUNKIT was commissioned by Bedford Creative Arts and developed in partnership with Love Music for young people
Selfie Slot Car Championship Dunstable
How can our libraries adapt to changing times? The marketing machine of Formula 1 might not spring to mind but for artist Chris Dobrowolski it was the inspiration behind his project Selfie Slot Car Championship.
Handbag by Geraldine Pilgrim
On 15 April 2016, twenty-six handbags and their owners took to the stage when artist Geraldine Pilgrim’s celebratory performance, Handbag, moon-walked its way to Leighton Buzzard Library Theatre.
In Situ Cinema
In July 2016 a group of young residents living in Bedford’s Queen’s Park took to their local streets in a film-making project about the place where they live. Over a period of four weekends they worked with artists Julie Myers and Maria Anastassiou to explore their neighbourhood and create a magical and irreverent film about life on Chester and Carlisle Roads.
Camera-less filmmaking at the BedPop Fun Palaces
A practical and accessible introduction to camera-less filmmaking by artist and filmmaker Joanna Byrne at BedPop Fun Palaces 2016.
Quilla Constance ‘QC’
We invited Bedford-based artist Jennifer Allen aka Quilla Constance ‘QC’ to give a performative lecture
An Artists’ Supper Club
On 23 November 2016, Bedford Creative Arts borrowed an artist-made dinner-set by internationally renowned collaborative Lucy + Jorge Orta from arts organisation Metal Peterborough as part of our new Contemporary Artists Bedfordshire programme. The exhibition, Lucy + Jorge Orta: Food, was a culmination of their 18-month residency with Metal and as part of this, the
Bedford Community Arts Choir
The Bedford Community Arts Choir is a unique music group for people of all abilities, performing specially commissioned works by local composers and arrangers.
Dunstable Wind Charming Day
We invited the people of Dunstable to dance with the wind, become part of a collective performance, and create the folklore of tomorrow.
The Word Blind
‘The Word Blind’ attempts to address the plights of people with sight issues using their genuine gripes about every day occurrences, taking the speech melodies to make the music. Composer Roger Illingworth worked with the people of Sight Concern in a collaborative process to create a cathartic message about the little things that full sighted people
In March 2015, just two months before the General Election, the town of Bedford saw ten of the its central commercial advertising billboards replaced with hard-hitting political cartoons.
Laura Pottinger brought ‘la passeggiata’ to Bedford town centre. This is the Italian tradition of taking a very slow stroll through the town before dinner. Bedfordian’s got dressed up and went for a slow stroll through the streets of Bedford, stopped for an aperitif or an ice cream, gossiped and flirted and met with friends and neighbours. Cafe’s involved
Future Library Festivals
What is a local library for? What would your dream library look like? These were questions artists Ania Bas, David Littler and Rosalie Schweiker chose to explore as part of the Library as Laboratory commission for Central Bedfordshire Libraries.
The Bedford Song Book
The Bedford Songbook is a celebration of local artists and musicians brought together to create a book that recognises our exceptional local talent.
In 2013 the Office for National Statistics said Bedford was the unhappiest place in the country. In 2014 we proved it’s one of the happiest.Dan Thompson is a social artist, interested in making things happen as much as he is in making things. He’s created a day of happiness, a game played across Bedford town centre’s
hip hop vs monuments
Do you walk past Bedford’s monuments and statues without a second glance on a daily basis? Do you know their meaning? Renowned choreographer and photographer Mickael Marso Riviere , international street dancer Si Rawlinson and a troupe of young street dancers from Bedford fused photography, live art and Hip Hop/Breakin dance to challenge our perspective of the well-known
Time Travellers of Dunstable
Time Travellers of Dunstable explored the idea of ageing as a form of time travel in a unique new sound piece created by artist Julie Myers
In Autumn 2014 we worked with three Central Bedfordshire Council libraries to bring you Human Library, a worldwide initiative that promotes dialogue, reduces prejudices and encourages understanding.
For our autumn 2012 commission we worked with audio visual artist Kathy Hinde, developing a new work with local singers that combined live singing with electronically altered voices.
A weekend of art made in Bedford.
Towards a unified theory of M!MS
In 2013 we worked with Bedford’s Andy Holden on a series of filmed re-enactments that took place in and around Bedford.
For Bedford Creative Arts’ Autumn 2013 mini commission artist Jan Uprichard subverted our daily routine with a dreamlike film of a sea view ordinarily unobtainable in Bedford.
Shop Studio, Kristian Purcell
Our first mini commission project took place in February 2012 – where we invaded Church Arcade, in Bedford's town centre, with local painter Kristian Purcell
Lace in Place
Inspired by the rich history of lacemaking in Bedford, Bedford Creative Arts, artist Arabel Rosillo de Blas and over one hundred Bedford volunteers created the commission Lace in Place.
Even A Stopped Clock is Right Twice a Day
Aaron Head was the recipient of our summer 2012 mini commission with a new public work sited on Ford End Road, Bedford, 'Even a Stopped Clock is Right Twice a Day'.
Concerto Magnificent: An Anthology of All Things
The commission was to be an ambitious and new, large-scale work for voice and orchestra, written, composed and performed by volunteers living in Bedford.
Echo Location, Kathy Hinde
Kathy Hinde’s interactive sound map Echo Location, commissioned by Bedford Creative Arts was specifically created for Bedford, developed over a series of workshops throughout the year. People were invited to come on ‘Walkshops’ with Kathy and assistant artist Aaron Head, using their everyday smart phone or digital sound recorders provided to record a moment in time
The Excursionist, Jo Roberts
As part of the ‘The Big Draw’, the National Campaign for Drawing’s nationwide event, we commissioned Jo Roberts for The Excursionist project. Between October 15th and 22nd Jo and supporting artist Arabel Rosillo De Blas took groups of participants on ‘doodle walks’, mapping our local area through drawing, photography and communication. The project was a
Border Country Melanie Friend
Melanie Friend began work on Border Country in 2003. Since then, more than 25,000 individuals per year have been held for some period in immigration detention in the UK. Over this time, male detainees have comprised approximately 85% of the immigration detainee population in the UK and the vast majority of interviewees in Border Country
Lorrice Douglas produces work as if researching for a film or a novel...
Jane Edden’s work is concerned with the way we perceive nature, particularly birds and how we represent and reference them in everyday life. During her time in residence at BCA she focused on the birds that she found close to the gallery, primarily pigeons, rooks and swans. Although her work is inspired by and takes
Goodbye To Most Of The Daydreams
This exhibition presented a body of work exploring the idea of an imaginary journey to the Antarctic.
Land Of The Free
Steve Schofield is a photographer. His practice explores the fascination that the British public has with American popular culture and the sub-cultural world of fandom. In his growing photographic series Land of the Free, Schofield shows people in their own homes wearing costumes they would dress in to attend events and conventions with other like-minded
Criss Crossing, Jordi Lafon
Here, the act of walking is a kind of performance in which many different situations converge, both the unexpected and those that are deliberately sought out. These different situations produce various ideas and images that contribute to our sense of place. Walking is a way of searching out new experiences, a way in which to
The Long Look, Michael Collins
As Bedford entered a significant era in its history BCA Gallery in association with Renaissance Bedford commissioned artist Michael Collins to make a series of vast, highly detailed, landscape photographs.
The Secret Life of Things
Suzanne Mooney’s work reconsiders how we look at the world through representation by exploring the medium and the apparatus of photography itself. The relationship between production, function and mediation of the photographic image is central to her practice. Employing diverse photographic techniques, appropriated images and found objects, Mooney’s work is a conceptual play with the
Only A Stranger Can Bring Good Luck, Only A Known Man Can Hang
Faye Claridge is an extraordinary artist, using photography and film as her chosen means to freeze her handpicked subjects in time. In this series of work, the subjects depicted are a group of Morris dancers from Bedfordshire. Seated before a painted ‘paradise’ each Morris Man’s pose is defiant yet calm. Contrasting markers of time imbue
A Glimpse Of The Familiar
In her new body of work ‘A Glimpse of the Familiar’ produced as part of a residency with BCA Gallery, Joanna Clark has focused her attentions on presenting the various fragments that make up her world. ‘A Glimpse of the Familiar’ includes over 100 quiet, yet evocative images, combining landscape with portraiture, colour and black
I Think There’s A Problem Here
I Do Not Understand My Own Actions focused on the patterns of behaviour that become habitual in relationships.
What Do I Know About Bedford Anyway?
Aaron Head’s intriguing exhibition combined the mediums of sculpture, installation and film to further explore his preoccupation with food and drink and their intricate social role in contemporary, multicultural Britain. One film piece ‘Terrace’ depicted a subtle intervention on Bedford’s High Street, featuring a small model of a typical terrace house constructed from sliced white
Accession – Territories
Agnieszka’s project, Territories’ explored the way that one’s immediate environment affects how one feels.
Acession – Particle
As part of the Accession project BCA worked with Polish artists Ziemowit Maj and Piotr Kowalski.
Dodgem is a film that follows the central character, Dominic From Luton, and his obsession with his own meticulously customised dodgem car. He travels from fairground to fairground throughout the south east of England in a Luton van, dressed in a white leather costume and helmet. Both his costume and the dodgem display icons from yesteryear. When
Stereography: stereophonic geography
Matt Cook collects noise. As a sound and performance artist Matt is fascinated by different rhythmic structures that exist within the urban environment. Whilst working as artist in Residence with BCA, Matt walked around to discover what makes Bedford tick. He collected sound recordings, and took photographs to create Stereography: stereophonic geography, an installation that
Age Of Transition
When Dinu Li was just seven years old, his family left Hong Kong and emigrated to the UK. His departure from the east and arrival in the west affected him profoundly. In Age of Transition, Li revisits this unsettling period of his life exploring the interactions that result when different cultures meet. He transformed the
Rush Hour was a series of images that empathised with the plight of the commuter
Window on the World
Window on the World was an exhibition of an extraordinary body of work by pinhole photographer Nilu Izadi. Constructing cameras from boxes and tins of all shapes and sizes, Izadi captures the world around her in a series of beautiful and mysterious photographs. The artist describes it as an unpredictable process where one gently plays
Our Silence is Your Comfort
Cambridge based artist and photographer Kay Goodridge explored stories and relationships hidden within a series of found photographs.
Radio 101 was an exhibition and FM radio station broadcasting from our former Gallery on Bedford High Street.
The Bedford Project Andre Stitt
Over the period of one year Wales-based performance artist Andre Stitt performed a series of eight live art performances in Bedford town and the surrounding rural areas.
Women at The Wheel
Inspired by the Mike Stubbs exhibition at BCA, this collaborative project brought together work by local women photographers and film makers.
Donut was the first exhibition at BCA Gallery; a multi-screen film installation by Mike Stubbs.
Time On Our Hands
Time on our Hands was a project that began in 1993, offering older people a chance to try a broad range of arts activities, whilst meeting new people, gaining new skills and enjoying new experiences.
Bedford Allotment Project
Throughout the summer of 95 BCA’s Photography Group (comprising of local photography enthusiasts) visited Queens Park and Brickhill Allotments
Eye Me Mine
This arts project encouraged children in the Queens Park, Bedford to look at the community in which they live
The Eyrie Roar
'The Eyrie Roar’ was a phrase coined in the fifties to describe the atmosphere at Bedford Town Football Club
Want to get involved?
Working collaboratively is at the heart of everything we do. Without you there is no Bedford Creative Arts.