The Good Hope Flags

Artist Joanna Brinton created a series of flags for the Hoe Garden based on the triangular ‘Cape of Good Hope’ stamps that helped establish Stanley Gibbons Ltd stamp collecting business in Plymouth. Brinton created and raised two flags with ‘GOOD’ and ‘HOPE’ printed on them and over the period of a year three additional flags were created in collaboration with different community groups.

Good Hope, Joanna Brinton, Plymouth Hoe Gardens Commission, 2015/16Artist: Joanna Brinton
Category: Temporary
Date: May 2015 – February 2016
Location: View on our Public Art Map [desktop and tablet; requires Google sign-in]
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Commissioner: Plymouth City Council
Supporters: Plymouth Culture, Arts Council England, Plymouth Arts Centre and the Hoe Conservation and Residents Association

Project Description

Good Hope, Joanna Brinton, Plymouth Hoe Gardens Commission, 2015/16This year long project was commissioned by Plymouth City Council to showcase local artists and uncover unique details of Plymouth’s history. 2015 marked the 150th anniversary of the publication of Stanley Gibbons famous stamp catalogues.

Edward Stanley Gibbons started his stamp collecting business in Plymouth in the late 1800’s; his enterprise was highly successful and to this day is considered a market leader in stamp collecting.

Throughout the project Brinton created workshops to include members of the local community in the creative process.

The first flag was created with St Andrew’s CE Primary School and was named ‘The clouds could be like hands joining’. The design celebrated the idea that the weather has the power to bring about change and possibility, love and friendship.

The second was named ‘To the Wheel’ and was created with the Hoe Conversation and Residents Association. It was a celebration of everyone coming together to ‘make something’ and symbolised the observation wheel that was located on Plymouth Hoe for a number of years.

The last flag raised was the ‘Digger Flag’ and celebrated the work of Plymouth City Council’s gardeners who tend the Hoe and were instrumental in the whole project. Their flag pictured symbols of the tools used in maintaining the area, one particular trowel had a special history— it has been worn to a third of its original size from years of use!

About the Artist

Joanna Brinton is an associate artist at Plymouth University. Her practise is socially engaged and incorporates sculpture, print and collaborative projects that aim to explore the world and the spaces we live in. Education and disseminating knowledge are a core part of her process — community involvement contributes to the success of the work, highlighting how public spaces can be invigorated through art.

Press links

Read an article on the project on the Plymouth Newsroom website. (Accessed 14 February 2018)