Artists Anna Francis, Kate Lynch and Katie Shipley are collaborating on a new project in Stoke. Using QR codes to create a tour of Stoke town. We will be using this blog to record the process of the project.


Getting going – Anna Francis

We have just had our second meeting now to discuss progress of the QR project. I don’t think we have a name for the project yet – I am quite sure that one was mooted at the last meeting – held in a cafe in Stoke Town.

Today we have decided to go for funding in order to see the project really getting off the ground. It is always a difficult one – should we go for funding and if so, how much; and if we don’t get the funding do we still want to do the project etc.

We felt that the interest generated and expressed through the tour taken by the group of artists as part of my SHOP project showed us that this is a project worth funding, and we are keen to give people more reasons to visit Stoke Town.

We have decided that there will be 10 points on the QR trail, and that each of us will select 3 points of interest in the town which we wish to research and make a QR for and that the final one will be in the library – and will give instructions to approach the librarians to get hold of a Geocache – another technology which we have used in the past, but would like to work with again.

I think my 3 sites will aim to celebrate the independent shopkeepers and their individual stories in the town. Also, hopefully they might encourage those people in to visit the shops/pubs that I select – I am already thinking of the White Star – local titanic brewery pub, which is a real local success story – and also serves a mighty good pint.

Kate has said she will probably be interested in responding to the architecture and Katie said she will probably be interested in tapping into local myths and legends – I think we are going to make a good team.

We are also considering other partners for the project – the council, the museum and others – so watch this space for developments…


Why I’m interested – Katie Shipley

I am interested in the personal stories and local myths and legends of Stoke-on-Trent, the lives that have woven around the buildings and events in the city. I would like to use the QR codes to reveal memories of the town to give life to the buildings, places and events that are slowly being forgotten and replaced.


As part of a New Generation Space funded commission at SHOP on Stoke town, artist Anna Francis hosted a tour of the town and a revisioning/rebuilding activity for local artists. During the activity the artists involved made suggestions for ways that the town could be improved. Katie Shipley raised the idea of QR code information points across the town. These would be discrete square barcodes that when scanned by a suitable mobile phone would reveal a piece of information. Whether that be architechtural, historical or a personal story, linked to the location of the barcode.

After the event three artists Anna Francis, Kate Lynch and Katie Shipley further discussed the potential of this project and met in Stoke town again. We discussed the potential of the QR Codes to act as a tour around the town and the different formats that the QR Codes could be presented; in the pavement, collages on walls in shops, small thumbnail images or large. The artists have decided to apply for funding to pilot the project in Stoke town, with potential partnership with The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery.