It is well known that art can help mental health and well-being and create a space for social connection. With this in mind, Higgins Partnerships and Lewisham Homes approached award winning graphic artist Rose Hill from Rose Hill Designs and Co-Creative Connection to create a large colourful mural on the hoarding at their Mayow Road site.
Rose set up a series of three workshops for residents to join in and shape the final design which now takes pride and place on the hoarding.
Rose explains, “This is a really exciting project and something I am really passionate about. Art is really powerful at breaking down social barriers and getting people to relax and feel in the present. I saw residents come together, relax and meet each other, forming bonds with people they hadn’t met before despite living in the area for 30 years or more.
“We held three workshops, each with a different theme which enabled residents to learn creative skills in colour, pattern design and collaborating. All ages and abilities were involved, and we based the theme around climate change, something that we are all extremely passionate about and were able to discuss in great length.
“In the first workshop we produced mood boards. The community’s ideas created the direction of the mural theme and from their mood boards I created a series of pattern design templates. In the second workshop participants learnt about pattern design, colour theory and collectively picked the colours. In the third workshop we co-designed the mural together with each participant designing their own parts of a panel, complementing each other’s elements. They all worked well together and it was great to see everyone take complete ownership of the project.
“Once the workshops had been completed, I took away the final artwork and with the help of volunteers we drew it up into a series of panels before we came together again and painted sections of the hoarding. It was really rewarding seeing families come and paint their section together and children as young as five and retired residents really getting enjoyment from it. I am so thrilled with the final mural and the community spirit shown in creating it.”
Bibi Maderbocus, a Lewisham Homes resident who took part in the project said, "From someone who was very unsure and extremely anxious about participating in something I have never done before, I am so glad I did. Rose was amazing, making us feel so at ease and comfortable in taking part every step of the way.
“From the moment I had that paintbrush in my hand, I felt so relaxed and my mind was taken away from day-to-day issues. Those were my few hours, just for me.
“I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience, meeting new people and doing something I have never done or would ever think of being a part of. Looking at the finished artwork, I feel so very proud knowing I was part of that. My family is very proud knowing Mum was part of it."
Amy Ross, Head of Social Value at Higgins Partnerships said, “We are thrilled with the fantastic mural that members of the local community and Rose have created for our site at Mayow Road. It’s great to see the mural reflect everyone’s views on such an important topic as climate change. Seeing the enjoyment and pride that has come from this project shows how rewarding such community-based projects are.”
David Lowry, Senior Development Manager at Lewisham Homes for the Mayow Road development said: “This project is an excellent example of the social value benefits that are being delivered on the Mayow Road project. In organising and running the workshops, designing and installing the mural, both Rose and Higgins Partnerships have demonstrated a commitment to community involvement and the benefit that it can bring to our residents. We are delighted with the final result, and that all those who participated found it enjoyable and empowering.”
Higgins Partnerships was appointed by Lewisham Homes to build 26 new council homes for families with temporary housing needs, along with six supported living apartments for young adults living with autism.
The £10m project on Mayow Road sits adjacent to Mayow Park in Sydenham and has seen the demolition of an existing warehouse to create much needed two and three-bedroom apartments. These homes will provide temporary accommodation for homeless families and help address the acute housing need in the borough.
Lewisham Homes has been working on behalf of the London Borough of Lewisham in partnership with NHS England through their ‘Transforming Care Programme’. This supported living accommodation will help residents to live more independently in a safe, inclusive and integrated setting. As part of the development, supported living residents will be provided with 24/7 on-site care and support, as well as an attractive communal garden space for their sole use.
For further information about Higgins please visit www.higginspartnerships.co.uk
For further information on the project contact Rose Hill on 07742 347603 or email firstname.lastname@example.org