Edible Avenue in Thessaly Road

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Thessaly Road is being transformed with art and planting as part of the wider ‘Edible Avenue’ project, funded by developers Vinci St Modwen, who are currently redeveloping New Covent Garden Market on Nine Elms Lane. Planting workshops with the community took place during the Chelsea Fringe Festival and London Festival of Architecture, led by award-winning art/horticulture collective, The Edible Bus Stop. More recently, parts of the flower market wall have been painted in bright colours in preparation for designs to be applied.

The designs for the wall are being developed through a series of art workshops with local school children. Year 6 pupils from St George’s Primary are working with artists Richard Field and Sophie Rigg to consider their role and responsibility in the community and consider what the area might be like after the development is complete. They will work collaboratively to design key features for the wall, such as apples for drawn apple trees, whilst further exploring the horticultural and social heritage of the area. These designs will be produced in practical workshops and affixed to the wall as part of the Edible Avenue SW8 and as a legacy of their learning. These workshops, taking place in the Autumn term, will form part of the Cultivate programme of cultural education activities for young people aged 7-19, a series of creative projects linked to the regeneration of Nine Elms.

Also contributing to the transformation of the wall is local resident and acclaimed street artist, Mr Dane. His work will be part of the installation on the wall and has been inspired by the work the children at St George’s have been doing. Watch this space for more exciting changes happening soon!

Edible Avenue SW8 is delivered by The Edible Bus Stop and funded by Vinci St Modwen; part of New Covent Garden Market’s Cultural Programme. It is a partnership with St George’s Primary School, Enable Arts for Wandsworth Council and Nine Elms Vauxhall Partnership. It includes projects for Cultivate, London Festival of Architecture and Chelsea Fringe Festival.

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People who make places: Anne Harild

Anne Harild photo

How do you describe what you do when someone in your family asks? 

When someone in my family asks, I say I’m an artist who makes work in response to place and who occasionally makes illustrations and often collaborates with other artists, musicians or young people and community groups. It’s sometimes hard to explain because I do lots of different projects all the time, sometimes exhibitions or public artwork and sometimes images for a magazine or a book.

What is the most interesting project you’ve worked on?

The most interesting project I have worked on recently was an artist residency at a big gallery in Liverpool called The Bluecoat. I lived and worked in Liverpool and created a big sculpture outside, in response to the architecture and nature of the building. As part of the process I also collaborated with young people in order to explore the place but also with a team of designer/makers who helped me build the sculpture.

What aspect of your work gives you the best feeling?

Making it. I enjoy the making process a lot. I also enjoy working with other people but I always incorporate a lot of actual making, like building and drawing together.

What keeps you awake at night? 

I’m self-employed so sometimes I worry about not having enough work and being able to pay all my bills. Other times I worry whether I have time to do all the projects I have happening at that time. It changes all the time and can sometimes be quite stressful but it also gives me a lot of freedom and the opportunity to work in lots of different places with different people all the time.

What does your work now have to do with what you studied, if at all? 

I studied Communication Art and Design at the Royal College of Art. The course was a great mixture of artists and designers. I work in that field in between art and design often. I work on lots of commissions like a designer would do but I also participate in lots of exhibitions. In my work I still explore similar ideas related to architecture and place, as I did at college, so it’s not that different now really.

What advice would you give to a young person interested in a career like yours? 


It’s a good idea to research all the different courses and universities out there and find one that suits your area of interest and personality. It’s often helpful to do work experience with an artist or designer in order to try things out and get an idea about the subject you are interested in. I did an Art and Design foundation course at Camberwell College of Arts in London and that was a brilliant way to try out lots of different areas of art and design and helped me work out what I was really interested in.

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Children at Chesterton Primary working with Anne Harild on an Exploring Nine Elms project

People who make places: Jasper Sutherland

Jasper Sutherland

How do you describe what you do when someone in your family asks?

I guess it depends on how long it’s been since I’ve seen them and how long they’ve got! In the broadest sense I’m a designer. I work for make:good, a small community-oriented interdisciplinary design studio. I do a lot of graphics and illustration which is what I studied, but also I design and build sets, places, props, pop-ups and products. The ethos of our studio is to involve people in local change so I also do a lot of work with communities and young people.

What is the most interesting project you’ve worked on?

I used to work in theatre design and I was one of the lead designers for an overnight production of Macbeth. It was set across three floors of the Balfron tower in East London. It was insane and very ambitious –  the audience arrived in groups of 10 at 10 minute intervals and had their own apartment for the evening. There were 3 sets of the cast and 9 apartments that we had to decorate and furnish like they were from the 1970s. The budget was tiny – the pay even tinier – the hours were mad and it nearly broke me but the people were wonderful and I had so much fun and the experience was incredible. It is one of the best things I’ve done and I’m really proud of it.

What aspect of your work gives you the best feeling?

I really like making things with my hands and the satisfaction of seeing an idea come into reality. I also really like how varied the different projects are and how varied my role is. I’ve never been happy with the idea of doing the same thing every day – I’m good at and enjoy lots of things so I’m glad I don’t only have to do one thing. I’m more of a generalist than a specialist so this job is perfect for me in that sense. In my job at make:good I also get to work with lots of people from all sorts of backgrounds which is really interesting and rewarding.

What keeps you awake at night?

Very little. I could sleep standing up on a train! I think I’ve had 2 sleepless nights in my entire life. But actually when I was studying and when I do freelance bits I do like working at night. There are no distractions, it’s quiet and you can get into a real flow. If I’m enjoying what I’m doing (or have a deadline looming) I can work straight through till dawn.

What does your work now have to do with what you studied, if at all?

I studied International Relations and Development Studies for my undergraduate degree, but went on to do a Masters in Communications Design studying Illustration and Graphics – which is a big part of what I do now. I learned a lot about visual language and design thinking but a lot of what I bring to my work comes from other experiences too. For me, going back to Uni and studying something creative, more than skills, it gave me the confidence to shift my career and to feel as though I could legitimately identify as a designer, which is quite important.

What advice would you give to a young person interested in a career like yours?

If we talk about career paths my ‘career’ has been very meandering… And the better for it I think. The idea of a career can feel quite pressurised, but I really don’t think everyone has to have a straightforward career path anymore.

Don’t start by getting too hung up on ‘what’ you want to do or even how you’re going to do it. I think it’s really important to think about ‘why’. The sooner you get to know what motivates you the more interesting you’re career becomes. Also don’t worry if you change your mind – there are jobs within really interesting sectors out there that you haven’t even dreamed of and you could end up doing any of them once you get in the door – so really don’t get too hung up on the what.

Make opportunities happen but also be prepared to take them as they come too – also get used to saying yes and learning fast – you can learn almost anything on Youtube. You shouldn’t be scared of making mistakes but let them be because you are pushing yourself, not just being sloppy. My tutor at University always said that we should make more mistakes – because it means you are learning and also that you are trying and taking risks.

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Jasper working with children in the Cultivate project Exploring Nine Elms

People who make places: Wendy Smith

Wendy Smith

How do you describe what you do when someone in your family asks?

The term architect has a well-established meaning amongst most people who usually equate it with the design of buildings, but most people are unclear about what that actually entails. I try to describe it as someone that oversees the design and construction of a building, from the macro, the overall shape and size, to the micro and the tiniest detail. On average, an architect will make over 100,000 decisions relating to the design of the building and my role, as part of a wider team is to take responsibility for those.

What is the most interesting project you’ve worked on?

I’ve been lucky enough to work on many fantastic buildings located all over the world, but the one that really sticks out in my mind is ‘The Tower of Love’, a wedding chapel located on Blackpool seafront. It was the first project I worked on and I followed it from early stages of concept design through to completion. The realisation of a building is such a long process, anywhere from 3 years onwards from beginning to end, and the best moments are when you see your hard work come to fruition.

What aspect of your work gives you the best feeling?

The majority of projects I have worked on have been within the public realm and seeing the public engage and interact with a building I have worked on is extremely exciting. Designing buildings that can offer new facilities or somehow improve public amenities allows new experiences to occur and communities to develop. When putting something new into the world that is beneficial to people, there is a huge sense of achievement and reward like no other but of course, with this comes great responsibility.

What keeps you awake at night?

Architecture is a very hardworking industry and because of its complexity, it takes huge amount of resources to manage. As a result, in my experience late nights and weekend working hours are commonplace. Many people view architecture as a vocational subject where passion and enthusiasm for it outweighs negatives of extended working patterns.

What does your work now have to do with what you studied, if at all?

Like any profession, the industry is prescriptive about the educational requirements needed to legally qualify as an architect and the educational system is set up to reflect that. This is a three-stage process of qualifications of a bachelor degree, masters degree and professional diploma after which you qualify. However, although there are restrictions for those wanting to become an architect, there are many examples of people studying architecture who have gone to carve successful careers in other creative industries. Spatial disciplines such as product and furniture design, set design and sculpture benefit from the skills you learn whilst studying architecture.

What advice would you give to a young person interested in a career like yours?

Although the educational process is prescriptive and completion is very long process (it took me ten years from initial degree to final qualification), I would advocate that students should not rush this process and instead take time to engage and develop skills that fascinate and engage them. An art foundation year might be a good way to begin experimenting with sculpture and spatial aspects of design before embarking on an architectural degree. As mentioned previously, architecture equips students with a whole range of skill sets that can be transferred to a range of different scales, from planning a new city to designing a chair and often skills that can be applied from other disciplines provide the cross pollination of ideas needed to energise a creative industry. Being a well rounded and engaged person.

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Wendy working with pupils from St John Bosco School in the Exploring Nine Elms project

The Cultivate story so far

 

 

We’re excited to announce the launch of this short 6-minute film telling the story of how the Cultivate Programme came about and sharing some of the stories of recent projects from our partners.

The film features footage of creative workshops taking place, along with interviews with young people and teachers from St Mary’s and Griffin Primaries who have been involved with Cultivate projects, as well as the artists that lead the activities. The projects featured in the film are ‘Moving Walls’ by Orly Orbach with St Mary’s Primary and ‘Nine Songs for Nine Elms’ by Lucy Cash and Fraya Thomsen with Griffin Primary.

Leader of Wandsworth Council, Councillor Govindia, and representatives from Nine Elms developers and contractors Taylor Wimpey and Midgard also appear in the film, sharing their thoughts on why cultural community engagement is so important.

Chocolate Films are a local social enterprise who produce videos, specialising in arts, museums and heritage subjects, and have a great track record of working with young people and the community.