A Portrait of Swindon

We are proud to present A Portrait of Swindon; a digital installation made by us on behalf of Swindon Borough Council, using photography and film to celebrate the people and place of Swindon and The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Working with social engagement artist Jill Carter and filmmaker Gurchetan Singh, we have woven a sensitive and revealing portrait of Swindon community, culture, commerce and landscapes to commemorate this unique moment in our history.

Building on our relationships with diverse communities and organisations in Swindon, the Create Studios team have documented the warmth of ordinary and extraordinary activities around the town, to make this timeless yet contemporary digital installation.

More than 600 people and some 60 venues participated in the project, and we would like to thank everyone for their involvement, making this portrait so special.


Royal Exhibition Success and New Public Exhibition Dates Announced!

We had a wonderful experience meeting Her Majesty and thousands of visitors at the Salisbury Jubilee celebrations on 1st May! She took a great interest in the photography and film piece, and seemed especially taken with the golden couch, which made a star appearance as part of the installation…she couldn’t believe it had been to 60 locations! Scroll down to some images below!

You can see the work for yourself over the next few months!

The Film: BBC Big Screen, Wharf Green – as part of the Jubilee celebrations on Sunday 3rd June at 12.45, Monday 4th June & Tuesday 5th June at Midday

The Installation: Artsite Gallery, Theatre Square, Swindon from Thursday 7th June until Saturday 9th June – opening hours 10.30 – 4

The Big Arts Day at Lydiard Park on Saturday 14th July

Swindon Central Library, during main library opening hours, from Tuesday September 11th until Monday October 1st

New dates Announced for 2013!

The Great Western Designer Outlet Village from Monday the 11th of February to Sunday the 24th of February 2013

North Swindon Library from 26th of February to the 28th of March 2013





A new documentary film; a visual poem, contemplative in pace and nature. The idea to reveal everyday comings and goings of life, viewing the ordinary as extraordinary.

A study of moments and vignettes capturing the unique identity of a town through the people’s voice and viewpoint.

The film celebrates Swindon life in this Jubilee Year; personal, public, corporate, cultural, urban and rural.  Exploring the worlds of the established family, the newcomer, the veteran, the innovator, the carer and the young person, together encompassing the ever changing spirit of the town.



“If you were free to take a gold velvet couch on a journey around your home town, where would you place it, who would you invite to sit upon it, and what treasured objects could you include in your unique portrait?”

Inspired by the great tradition of Royal portraiture and the ancient document of the Magna Carta, which acknowledges our liberty to own land and possessions, social engagement artist Jill Carter made a series of portraits to explore a wealth of Swindon stories.

A collection of warm and characterful documentary photographs celebrating people, place and possibilities.  The exhibition follows the journey of the couch around the town, playfully revealing the individuality of people along the way.

This series of spontaneous interventions took place over ten days at locations meaningful to the participants, providing time, space and freedom to explore personal stories and reflect on what makes them proud. The process of events directed by participants revealed a hugely creative and positive community spirit.


E-book : Swindon on the Couch

An on-line artist’s book presenting a full series of images from the project is available at

Blog : Swindon 2012
To see the artist’s blog – the background story of the journey – people, places and comments, documenting the process of research and development for the film and photographic participatory arts project, go to:

A range of special screenings and events are planned to share “A Portrait of Swindon” for over the summer – watch this space for details!

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