Our History of Westminster

Westminster City Council’s City Lions explored places across the City that meant something special to them. They created a map of their area, combining places important to their personal heritage with places of national importance.

In December 2020, we teamed up with City Lions, and two emerging artists from the Creative Futures programme in Bristol.

Artists Giles and Carlo were the creative driving force behind our sessions, together they developed sessions that were fun and inspiring. Putting their talents to good use, they enabled us to explore English Heritage statues, monuments, and sites in Westminster through fun drawing activities and encouraged us to bring to life our own memories of life in the borough.

Using these sites as a springboard we explored what makes somewhere special and drew the places that were significant to us, regardless of how well we could (or couldn’t!) draw.

We shared memories of walking through St James’ Park in the changing seasons, visiting Westminster Abbey on a school trip, and even of dancing in a flat during lockdown 1! Ava was even inspired to write an incredibly poignant poem about what memory, heritage, and the past meant to them…

Giles and Carlo combined all the conversations, drawings, poems, and feelings to create a new illustrated historical map of Westminster, with more recent memories placed next to monuments built long ago. It shows us how our history is constantly being written and asks us to consider what we think heritage is.

Illustrated map of Westminster

It was a lot of fun researching the historical sites to then create art to depict them, as well as listening to the … creative ideas and significant memories.

Carlo, Illustrator