The concept has been eight years in development by Arabel Lebrusan, an ethical jeweller who was inspired to complete this project when Bedfordshire Police presented her with three crates of confiscated knives and other sharp artefacts back in October 2013.

The exhibition consists of 275 rings cast in metal recycled from the confiscated weapons. The bands represent the number of knife homicides in England and Wales from 2019 to 2020. They are also created in shapes and sizes that symbolise the percentage of deaths that were men, women, and children. This poignant visual work ties into Blunt Blades Exchange, a socially engaging art project organised by Lebrusan earlier in 2021. The programme saw more of the police-confiscated knives repurposed into rings, then gifted to nine women whose lives have been changed irrevocably by knife crime.

Through a series of conversations, Arabel and the participants explored the meanings and associations of the rings, working together to personalise them with designs that draw primarily on themes of healing and empowerment.

On behalf of the Bedford Creative Consortium, Bedford Creative Arts commissioned Julian Beaver to create a 3D Illusionary Artwork. This artwork depicts a local urban legend and celebrated Bedford High Street all through the power of 3D Illusion Art. We commissioned a world-renowned illusion artist, Julian Beever, who created a piece of extraordinary 3D art at the site of the old bank on the High Street. The piece allowed the people of Bedford to take a virtual look underneath the riverside bank site and discover what lies beneath.

Based on a local urban myth that a hidden treasure – a bank vault – is still buried underneath the site, the art depicted past Bedford high street workers and shoppers who used the bank in their daily life. The bank provided support and expertise to the family businesses of Bedford. Through these relationships, its role became synonymous with that of caretaker of the town.

The artwork was revealed over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend, but the Vault Project also had a digital offering. The public could delve deeper into the stories and characters that made the unique history of Bedford’s High Street. The Bedford community were encouraged to share any stories of shopkeepers or local characters from the area to help build a rich collection of tales that brought the high street to life and celebrated its relationship with local Bedfordians.



Global beverage packaging company, Ball Corporation, produces aluminium drinks cans and has premises in Luton. Ball wanted to promote the message that aluminium is infinitely recyclable and invited BCA to produce a new artwork using cans for their Luton HQ. They wanted a piece of work that would promote sustainability and brighten the workplace for staff.

BCA commissioned artist Larry Jackaman, who had developed a specialist embossing technique using aluminium drinks cans to create a new artwork to be installed in their reception area. Larry cut leaf shapes out of aluminium cans and then engaged over 150 members of the public to emboss them with designs from nature.

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.

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



In time for the holidays Captain Swing returns from past worker uprisings in a consciousness-raising custom for the age of A.I. Capitalism. A folk opera, based on worker testimonies and interviews with union organisers, written and produced collectively by Post Workers Theatre and Infinite Opera.

Captain Swing, the fictional face of worker dissent in the great English agricultural uprising of 1830, is resurrected to confront the horrors of working as a seasonal associate in an Amazon fulfilment centre. Will Swing help the workers to overcome Alexis the evil scanner, a symbol of Amazon’s regime of technological discipline?

As part of the wider Autohoodening project begun in 2019, this is a collaborative response to a midwinter custom dating back over 200 years. Hoodening was originally performed by farm labourers in East Kent who paraded with a horse effigy in a carnivalesque satire of their working reality during the fallow season of winter.

Autohoodening reimagines this custom for the age of automation, updating its design, delivery and social commentary and asks how might the singing, dancing and physical humour parody and draw attention to the

In 2015 the Dump It On Parliament Revisited project was commissioned and hosted by Bedfordshire libraries and produced by Bedford Creative Arts. This culminated in a live event at Leighton Buzzard Library Theatre featuring alternative bands, whose styles span from hip-hop to hardcore, from indie to dub, from psychedelia to full-on punk. This was an opportunity not just to bring the noise to the traditionally quiet spaces of Bedfordshire's libraries but to act as a reminder of the area's local cultural heritage.

Steve Spon of UK Decay, still active musically, helped curate the event and appeared onstage with Roshi Nasehi to lead the audience in singing along the Bob Dylan-esque acoustic anthem "Break Down The Walls". It was an evening in which punkish euphoria and anger mingled, along with the strange thrill of previously disconnected young people joining forces for the first time. The beginning of something new, perhap



In July 2018, we were commissioned by Bedford Creative Arts, Music In Detention, and The Higgins Museum Bedford, with support from The Harper Trust, to work with migrants, refugees, asylum seekers and other groups in Bedford to run a series of workshops that lead to the creation of a new puppet.

Over the course of 4 months, we worked closely with our commissioners in Bedford to devise a series of workshops to be delivered to locals, and from these developed the character for a new audio piece and puppet for a character called Asma, who was showcased at Bedford’s Bedpop Fun Palaces in October 2018. Asma will now become a part of ‘Routes’ and will be one of the four characters in the story.

Routes – Bedford was run by Hannah Tookey and Michelle Madsen with puppetry design and build by Peter Morton and with workshop and design support by Olivia Altaras and Robyn Olivia.


This film Growing Up Italian in Bedford has created in partnership with Dr Selena Daly of University College London and with grant funding allocated from the High Street Heritage Action Zone Cultural Programme in association with Historic England. Thanks to Memoria for their additional funding toward the project and documentation of the stories captured by the reminiscence workshop Growing Up Italian held on the 23rd September 2023.


This was an immersive artwork and community-curated exhibition exploring the spectacle and utopianism of UK airship heritage. It was on display at The Higgins, Bedford until 28th November 2021

Airship Dreams: Escaping Gravitv was commissioned by Bedford Creative Arts in partnership with The Higgins Bedford and the Airship Heritage Trust exploring Bedford's identity as the historical centre of the UK's airship industry, past and present. Lead artist, Mike Stubbs, worked over a three-year period getting to know the community and the history that inspired the proiect.

The outcome was a new immersive artwork created collaboratively with a team of artists in a computer games engine. Unreal, that invited the viewer on a spectacular journey like floating through space. The artwork was on display at The Higgins' William Harpur Gallery until 28th November 2021 and was exhibited alongside an exciting new community-sourced display of airship artefacts, stories, inspiration and memorabilia donated by airship enthusiasts from the local community and around the world. The community display will be in place until 20th March 2022.

How can we build our connection to the place in which we live? What brings a community together? Take Part Queen’s Park is an art project both inspired by and created with the community of Queen’s Park in Bedford, alongside artists. Through engaging residents of all ages with the creative arts and exploring Queen’s Park’s cultural diversity, the project seeks to combat isolation and strengthen residents’ sense of place and community.

Residents and community groups worked with artist Caroline Wendling who gathered stories and experiences of Queen’s Park. This then led to the creation of  an exhibition in the Higgins Bedford. The Exhibition celebrated the vibrancy of Queen’s Park using film, embroidery, and clay. Queen’s Park residents have also been working with Artists Andy Holden and Mira Calix through a series of workshops to design and create a mural. The mural explores themes of communication, community, and unity, which came out of experiences during the Covid-19 lockdowns.


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