575 ways to create and connect
- 04 January 2024
'575 Ways to Create and Connect' is a programme of everyday creativity workshops aimed at fostering social connections and inspiring creativity at every age. These workshops use the theme of ‘everyday creativity’, with each session exploring a different creative prompt and medium linking to the story of 575 Wandsworth Road.
This year, we are running a creative programme called "Common Threads" which is based on new research on our textiles collection at 575 Wandsworth Road and exploring our individual and collective creativity in an informal and welcoming setting. This January we launched CommonThreads a series of four monthly workshops designed and facilitated by Elizabeth Joseph using plywood, card offcuts and upcycled fabrics and pre-loved items to create beautiful miniature art pieces inspired by the house. In our first session, we created miniature sofas inspired by a kilim covered sofa in the front sitting room of 575 Wandsworth Road. Learn more about Elizabeth and her art here.
The workshops began in 2023 when we became a community partner with Battersea Arts Centre and were developed in collaboration with Holistic Creative Therapist, Salvatore Circelli, who hosted our first sessions.
From collage to kintsugi, our very first workshops made use of materials easily found in our homes (e.g. magazines, egg cartons, jam jars), and gave them a new lease of life. Focussing on the collective joy of making in a welcoming and supportive environment, each session centred on human connection, with conversation starters (e.g. what song makes you smile?) and a group playlist of songs, which became the soundtrack of the summer.
One highlight was working with vintage paper collage artist Laura Goossens (aka Gooseglitters) for a collageing workshop on International Day of Older People and for the Brighter Living Fair. During the workshop, local residents had a chance to walk around Battersea Arts Centre and discover of all of the different colours, textures and designs within the building before learning how to work with different old paper materials, different layering and collage tips, and constructing a collage into one cohesive piece of art.
In October we also worked with Elaine Giles, a london-based artist with a passion for portaiture and plein air painting, to deliver a series of workshops using water, pigment, paper and gravity to explore the magic of mark making. Inspired by her own 'make a mark programme' which takes place in calm spaces such museums or gardens to explore the look and feel of different tools on paper and help develop confidence and enjoyment in mark making. Elaine's work has also been shown by the Mall Gallery, Green and Stone, and Bankside Royal Watercolour Society.
575 Wandsworth Road has been home to a wide variety of artists and creatives who have developed deep and meaningful connections with the house over the last 10 years which have shaped the house's legacy and its impact on individuals and communities. 575 Wandsworth Road is a place where the idea of ‘home’ takes on a profound and transformative meaning, where connection thrives, and where the future holds endless possibilities.