Well, friends, my April, May and June have been a busy old time, doing two community mosaic projects here in London. Now they are both complete and there is rather a lot of celebrating and ‘unveiling’ going on!
Last weekend, the Mayor of Camden joined about 150 other people at the Sudanese Women’s Associationin Kilburn, to celebrate and unveil the wonderful creative work done by local women. A large (1.5 x 1.5 metre) mosaic was part of the project which aimed to create friendships between women of different cultures, which this project achieved most beautifully (funny how easy it is to talk and share stories when your hands are busy making something).
The feedback from these wonderful people (aged 3 – 91, from a wide range of cultures) was so touching. “We never thought we could do something like this, but you came along and showed us and without realising it, we were doing it!” And a great job they did (and worked soooo hard to boot). There are tiles left over, the group has caught the mosaic bug and the next projects are being plotted and planned!
The second community project was with Wandsworth Social Services Click Team which works with children and young people who are in state care.
This group of around 20 young people wanted to brighten up the Social Services reception area and so I hatched the idea to mosaic a giant ‘Welcome’!
For two solid days (and a few round the edges by yours truly) the group glued a huge variety of tiles on the giant letters (this included nuggets, vitreous tiles, millefiore and soft glass – great for working with kids). It was great fun and took me back to my youth & social work days!
The outcome is vibrant, cheerful and striking – this is no whisper of a ‘Welcome’ sign!
It will be mounted and unveiled on July 19th – I’m really looking forward to seeing it in its new home.
Lastly, I am at my third unveiling this Thursday, for the North London Hospital Mosaic wall which features this mosaic of mine alongside many others from all over the world. I know its going to be amazing!
What is so cool about having facilitated this recent crop of community mosaics (including last December with Star/KKF refugee youth club) is that it has bought together the two worlds that I have spent my life working in – mosaics (for nearly 3 years as my profession) and social / community work (for 22 years). Serendipity eh?