Artist: Alice McLean and Justine Boussard

A silver token, like a big coin.

Alice McLean and Justine Boussard, Common Ground: The Peckham Rye Common Token. (Photo: Justine Boussard)

Alice McLean and Justine Boussard collaborate to celebrate community assets and local, collective campaigning undertaken to protect them. Their project ‘Common Ground’ examines how making can open the process of recording and sharing local commoning history.

For the exhibition Alice and Justine worked with allotment holders to create tokens to celebrate the victorious campaign led by cats and humans in 2019, to protect Birmingham’s Walsall Road Allotments. Established in 1907, they risked destruction for the Commonwealth Games 2022 redevelopment. Spearheaded by the charismatic Robert, (@AllotmentCat on twitter), the community ran a campaign cleverly building on the internet’s fascination for cats. It gathered 16,000 signatures globally in just three months.

What space is precious to you?

Have a go at and Alice McLean & Justine Boussard’s making project. Coming soon!

Share your act of commoning by posting a picture of your project using #WeAreCommoners and tag us on instagramtwitter or facebook. If you prefer, you can email a picture to us at [email protected] and we can share it for you.

metal tokens

The Walsall Road Allotment Tokens and Robert the cat.



Where Next?

Learning resource: Healing

Thinking about how artists use materials and skills.

A leaf has been decorated with embroidery stitches.

Become a commoner

Learn more about commons.

Rehearsing the dance. Two adults roll in the long grass, their legs and arms in the air.

Artist: Alice McLean and Justine Boussard

Campaigning to protect community assets.

A silver token, like a big coin.

Artist: Rachael Colley

Using found natural materials.

A woman wears a large neckpiece made form cylinders of wood, some are natural and some are scorched.


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