Old Tidemill Wildlife Gardens sponsored by Topps Tiles
Over the last few months I have been working as the mosaicist in residence at the Old Tidemill Wildlife Gardens in Deptford, together with Assembly. Assembly is collective of artist and designers who work with local residents to develop creative projects and events at the old Tidemill school and gardens. The garden is a wonderful slightly overgrown hidden space behind the Deptford High Street. Tidemill volunteers have been working tirelessly to make it just a little bit less overgrown, including the Urban Gym who come on Tuesdays to excercise their muscles with digging, weeding and pushing wheelbarrows around. They have built a beautiful herb garden with old railway sleepers, and are working on cleaning out the pond, which has already been colonised by various amphibians.
In May I ran two mosaic sculpture workshops there. These workshops were sponsored by Topps Tiles, who very kindly donated the tiles for the workshops. The workshops were open to everyone in the local community and were run on Saturday afternoons. The first one was held inside the plant shelter due to the rain ( most unwelcome!) despite which we had a good attendance. People made their own different interpretations of pre-prepared mosaic spirals which we had made for them. It was great to see the different colours, patterns, and strategies people used to make the spirals.
The second workshop was held in the amphitheatre as we had bright sunshine. Having attached the mosaic sections to the sculpture, everybody worked together to stick down the background colours, which were made from a range of white, cream, yellow and grey tiles. People seemed to really enjoy this activity, and everyone including the kids, worked really hard.
I came back to grout the sculpture after the adhesive had dried thoroughly, and to smooth down the rough edges, and installed it in place, with some help from the Assembly team ( and the Urban Gym ! )
We will be doing more activities with Assembly and will keep you posted as to events coming up. If you live locally, check out the Assembly website, and sign up to their newsletter, as they have a lot of diverse events and activities happening every month. Recently they have run workshops at Pick Me Up, and in collaboration with the British Council.