Take Part Queen’s Park: Archipelago

March 2022

Artists & Associates

Archipelago is an exhibition about Queen’s Park, curated by Caroline Wendling and created by residents of Queen’s Park. It was exhibited at The Higgins Bedford in the Sir William Harpur Gallery

The exhibition celebrated the vibrancy of Queen’s Park using film, embroidery and clay, curated by artist Caroline Wendling in collaboration with residents as part of the Take Part Queen’s Park project. Take Part Queen’s Park is an art project both inspired by and created with the community of Queen’s Park in Bedford. Through engaging residents of all ages with the creative arts the project seeks to celebrate residents’ sense of place and community, and share that with the wider residents of Bedford.

Caroline Wendling is a resident artist who has been working in Queen’s Park since 2020 to explore the culture, talents and memories of residents and present their stories through new works of art.  Through an extensive series of public walks and workshops in schools, in the allotments, with community groups and in Presentation House, a film and artworks of clay and embroidery have been created that represent and showcase the talent of residents and shares their unique stories of Queen’s Park for all of Bedford to enjoy.

Queen’s Park is like an archipelago [a group of islands]– a place where people who each have their own cultures and traditions come together to form one unique, vibrant and unified community.”

Caroline Wendling

Archipelago – a film about Queen’s Park

Archipelago, a film about Queen’s Park, takes us on a poetic journey through the neighbourhood. It explores the lifes of seven residents and tells a story about the a sense of belonging in our local community. The film’s title, the collective noun for a group of distinct but nearby islands, speaks to the ways in which Queen’s Park – as evidenced in the film – is itself the result of simultaneous senses of belonging, and the cultural traditions and multiplicity of assumptions that underpin these senses of belonging. Watch each vignette, below, and explore Queen’s Park’s many wonders through the eyes and voices of residents.

Monkey Island

Legend has it that a colony of monkey’s lived in Queen’s Park. Caroline Wendling spoke to a local resident to explore the rumoured monkey island.

Because It’s Beautiful

Queen’s Park has an abundance of nature. In this vignette we discover a group of residents led a community campaign to decorate Queen’s Park with flowers.

Slow Trains

In this vignette, a resident talks about the train line that runs alongside Queen’s Park.

80s Groove

Bedford’s Caribbean Senior Citizens Association meet every week for a game of dominoes.


Queen’s Park’s allotment is a symbol of its super-diversity. The allotment provides restbite for residents and allows them to grow their roots and connect with other gardners.


Imagination explores the journey of one resident who as born in Pakistan and now resides in Queen’s Park

Something Magical

There is something magical about Queen’s Park. In this vignette, we explore how walking in nature connects you closer to your local environment and community.

Delivered by Bedford Creative Arts in partnership with The Higgins Bedford and funded by Paul Hamlyn Foundation, The Harpur Trust and housing association bpha.