Style Over Speed

Despite the restrictions enforced by the pandemic, New Visuality has continued to work on its far reaching project, ‘Style Over Speed’, a campaign that started in 2018 and ultimately focuses on making York a more wheelchair friendly city. It has included the artwork of pupils from St Georges RC Primary School, Fishergate Primary School, and Blueberry Academy, and is now disseminating via stickers and fliers to businesses in Fishergate. Says charity director Greg McGee, “2020 has not been ideal, but we have managed to intersect a lot of creativity here. Fishergate Primary School always encourages excellent creativity, and we have worked with pupils during our school holiday Art Camp sessions building on their luminous skills.” Alexa Waddington has been especially inspirational in her compositions of a world in which the roads are shared with care.”The project has been looking at wheels, and the fact that not only do we often take them for granted, but we prioritize the speed with which they get us from A to B. By that rubric, it’s cars which have come to own our spaces. This project is a small reminder that there are other wheels, wheels from bikes, and wheelchairs, that deserve some exposure as well. Throw into the mix the fact that bikes and wheelchairs cause a lot less accidents and pollution than cars, and the project really connects. The young people have really connected.”

Funded by City of York Council’s Fishergate Ward, ‘Style Over Speed’ has engaged with over 50 young people, including trips to St Georges RC Primary and Melbourne Centre. Things have changed since COVID came and changed everything, but Greg is confident the quality of art and political priorities remain. “The Fishergate businesses have been helpful in spreading the word that roads, paths and lanes are there to be shared with care. We will be projecting the artwork that deal with ‘Share with Care’ as illuminated art in city centre windows during ‘York Design Week’ in October. We will also be dovetailing the artwork created during the project with the work undergone by Phil Bixby in Constructive Individual workshops. “We are supplying for New Visuality’s ‘Style Over Speed’ projections things which people said or (more usually) wrote on Post-Its, which spell out wishes for good stuff in the city and which are hopefully brief enough to be projected clearly for passers-by,” says Phil, “We’re also running a session which will hopefully click with the young people.  ‘From Democratic Desire to Communicating for Change’ looking at how we link the changes we want to persuasive messaging.”

Greg is ebullient that the project has led to new, fertile destinations in such uncertain times. “We’ve had to drop a few aspects – we can’t exhibit in Fulford Cemetery, nor can we make return visits to the schools, but the involvement of York Design Week and Phil Bixby and Constructive Individual and My Future York have really helped shape the way these collaborative, creative ideas are developed. With more young people involved, and with nationally recognised certificates forthcoming, this has been a great success”
For more information on Phil Bixby’s ideas on collaborative programmes see:

For the full list of activities during York Design Week, see:

New Visuality thanks Fishergate Ward for the funding for ‘Style over Speed’

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