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Bikes & Beans

After been awarded a grant for volunteer-led social action projects across the city, Absolutely Cultured volunteers developed projects to improve their communities. Through community mapping and consultation, they found regenerating areas blighted by anti-social behavior appeared high the list of wants. A cycle track in desperate need of an uplift (running between Bean Street and Coltman Street) was identified for improvement. Positive buy-in from the locals green-lighted the plan to work with an artist to overhaul the path using colour and art - two of the things the community wanted to see more of. 

As lead artist, Lydia was tasked with designing the new artwork, painting a gable end mural, and leading volunteers in the painting of the remaining walls of this ambitious participatory street art project. Three patterns were designed which were influenced by Coltman Street's eclectic architectural history, sensitively creating artwork which ‘fostered local distinctiveness in a challenging, contemporary, yet sympathetic way.’  


In collaboration with a team of volunteers, a neglected 
cycle-track on the Trans Pennine Route was transformed 

through colour and art. 

With only three days to design, research was crucial to create something that did not impose

on Coltman Street's existing character. 

Noted as an area of special architectural or historic interest in a character appraisal undertaken by Hull City Council, the area’s slow development since the Georgian Era has made it home to a diverse mix of houses. Coltman Street compromises of everything from villas with classical details and a plain Jacobean building to fencing from a decorated gothic-style chapel which survived WW2 bombings, all whilst ‘interspersed with odd pockets of late 20th century residential infill.” Details include a golden eagle standing proud at the entrance of the street, traditional window styles, doric columns and decorative ceramic tiles, to name a few.  


 ‘...traditional paving materials add
charm, character, variety and

richness to the appraisal area’ 


The designs were created from this variety of patterns found on Coltman Street's doorways and paths to reflect the contrasting architectural references which give the street it's unique character. The tiles in the artwork add important ‘touchstones’ to the area's past and celebrate it’s individuality. A livelier colour palette was injected for a fresher, contemporary look. The result is a positive and joyous space which looks towards a brighter future as the area welcomes regeneration.  

Photography: Tom Aaron

The process

Photography: Tom Aaron & Ellie Hardy ©

Before & After

Community Event

To celebrate the efforts of the Absolutely Cultured volunteers and the community, a free event is to be held on the 28th September 2019.

Lydia is not only incredibly talented but really great to work with. As a volunteer and community projects manager, it’s important that we have an artist who can connect with people- Lydia is just that- we have received numerous glowing reports about how much our volunteers and the community enjoy working with her. She brings an artistic but people-centred approach to her projects and is also organised and efficient

- a pleasure to work with. Thank you Lydia!

 - Katie Atkins

     Community Project Co-ordinator, Absolutely Cultured

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