The Softer Side of Regeneration 130613_0050-1 Full view

The Softer Side of Regeneration

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Throughout winter and spring 2012/13, we worked with community groups, residents, and crafters from a wide cross section of our area thinking about what we have benefitted from in our community, and also asking people what they were willing to give back into their community. The questions were inspired by the massive investment into the Wood Street neighbourhood, that we were all noticing, and hearing described as ‘regeneration.’ We wondered what it means to a neighbourhood to be ‘regenerated.’ We saw lots of new pavement, and fresh paint. When we heard the neighbourhood discussed though, we heard descriptions of people, and the hardships they faced, and impressions of them – and their neighbourhood as unwelcoming to outsiders. So this project was an idea – an idea of using the softness, comfortableness, and interior nature of throw cushions – outside – to explore if this neighbourhood was unwelcoming, hard, struggling – and even aspire to connect people so it wouldn’t be so, if it was.

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So we asked people to make cushion covers with us. We asked them to add a letter to their cushion, and a label telling us what they get from their community, and are willing to give. Now, with their help, we are using these diverse cushions to converse across the neighbourhood, to each other and those ‘outsiders’ who we certainly want to feel welcome.

From 18 months to over 80, participants in this project celebrate the diversity of the Wood Street area, and want to keep humour and friendliness, and support of neighbours, at the heart of the project of ‘regeneration.’

Our community cushions are available to rent for positive pop-up installations. The fees from these rentals help support our community support activities. Contact mark@significantseams.org.uk to book cushion usage.

Stop and Stare, Opening of the Mural on the Marshes, 7 Sept 2013
Stop and Stare, Opening of the Mural on the Marshes, 7 Sept 2013

 

Pirates in the Park, Re-opening of Bisterne Park, July 2013
Pirates in the Park, Re-opening of Bisterne Park, July 2013

The creation of the cushions and the important dialogue they fostered in our neighbourhood was made possible by The Near Neighbours Fund and with support from The William Morris Gallery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revolting Craft workshops at the William Morris Gallery exploring the role of art in protest, May 2013. This family wants dog owners to pick up the poo!
Revolting Craft workshops at the William Morris Gallery exploring the role of art in protest, May 2013. This family wants dog owners to pick up the poo!
Learn to Play, Woodside School 13 June 2013
Learn to Play, Woodside School 13 June 2013
Another Year Wiser, Last Day of School 2013  in Waltham Forest
Another Year Wiser, Last Day of School 2013 in Waltham Forest

 

Written by significantseams