Community-based, for all walks of life
Our ongoing series of community engagement productions aims to foster creative development in those who have unrealised potential, or artistic interests that they would like to explore further. Our learn-by-doing approach emphasises participation in creative enrichment regardless of experience, ability or age.
We encourage socially and ethnically diverse arts audiences by showcasing aspiring, emerging and professional artists alike, who respond to the same creative theme which is set and independently curated by Mel Barry. Themes and partnerships for productions are typically focused on societal and environmental outcomes, as well as attracting participation from deep within the grassroots of communities.
Free or very low cost events that are highly accessible to the wider public are extremely time consuming and therefore costly to produce and promote. We rely on art sales to help continue our work. Please show your support with an art purchase.
Showcasing locally inspired art
Locals' Art Hut Weekends at Thrive Battersea Park
Buy sculptures, prints and paintings inspired by nature, seasons, Thrive gardens and the wider local area. The work is by a group of artists ranging from aspiring to professional and various ages. Prices range from under £50 up to £300. Opening times vary - please check beforehand by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kindly hosted by Thrive Battersea Park in their Main Garden. Thrive is the leading UK charity that uses gardening to bring positive changes to the lives of people living with disabilities or ill health, or those who are isolated, disadvantaged or vulnerable.
Locals' Art Hut continues an ongoing series of public events to widen enjoyment of and access to creativity, deep within the grassroots. With special thanks for ongoing support from The London Framing Studio in the Battersea Business Centre, London SW11.
All children, young and vulnerable people must be accompanied and supervised at all times by a parent or adult guardian who is responsible for their care.
Chelsea Fringe & Wandsworth Arts Festivals
Nature inspired sculpture trail workshop at Vauxhall City Farm
Participants worked with sculptor Sophie Marsham to create outdoor sculptures from vintage and other found objects. This event took place druing the 2017 Chelsea Fringe, kindly supported by @vauxhallone.
Nature inspired drawing workshop
For Thrive's Autumn Open Day, south west London based artist Amanda gave her time to run a drawing workshop for all ages and levels of experience. Participants observed and drew from still life in the tranquillity of the autumn garden.
Amanda's prints and original art can be purchased from the Locals’ Art Hut.
A creativity workshop for the visual expression of ideas about resilient communities, collective needs and common good.
Facilitated by Mel Barry, any group in any community looking for a new way to discuss and explore community matters is invited to host this session for up to 20 participants.
Communities, of any type or size, looking for a new ways to showcase local talent or local voices about community needs - please enquire with the curator producer, Mel Barry about hosting Locals' Exhibition.
At the 2016 launch of Locals Exhibition during the Chelsea Fringe and Wandsworth Fringe Festivals art made by locals residents and neighbours from ages 5 to 55 was shown to the public for the first time. The body of work highlighted views about neighbourhood improvements needed to address excessive urbanisation, personal space problems, dog mess and other pollution.
Families from at least six boroughs enjoyed 50 free places in collaborative workshops run by professional artists.
Kindly supported by The London Framing Studio.
Move Exhibition Collection
Move visual art is inspired by movement and performance themes in dance, music and theatre.
The inaugural Move Exhibition launched in 2014 with a four day group show in London, followed by a tour of public venues in London and Bath which is ongoing. Produced and curated by Mel Barry. For stories please visit Move Exhibition.
In the making of the Move collection, individuals aged between 3 and 84 enjoyed hundreds of free places in art workshops run by 10 professional artists over a period of eight months. These enrichment activities were hosted by charities, social enterprise, primary schools and public venues and culminated in a group exhibition with a private view opening for artists and their families. For stories please visit Move Exhibition.
Art in a Five Star Urban Garden
Collaborative art workshop in RHS registered primary school garden
Hosted by Christ Church CE primary school Battersea, sculptor Sophie Marsham worked alongside parents, teachers, students and their siblings making art to adorn a log cabin nestled at the back of the wonderful garden, used by teachers and pupils for learning within the garden environment.
The summer event was a great opportunity for all walks of life to enjoy a group process of creation and self-expression. Sophie guided participants to create people figures, from wooden picnic cutlery, reflecting the diversity of the local area.
The school’s vision was to develop a community garden that would change thinking by inspiring local families to grow fruit and vegetables. Since 2009, the school and their local community have worked hard to transform the once disused allotment, ensconced between buildings on the local estate which borders the school, into a thriving and productive garden educational resource. With help from the RHS Campaign for School Gardening, the Capital Growth Scheme and Covent Garden Sprouts Project they give pupils, staff, parents and local families a hands-on experience of sustainability. It is one of 100 gardens to have achieved level 5 which is the highest category in the RHS campaign for School Gardening with over 17,000 schools registered.
Nearly 90 per cent of pupils at the school are from differing minority ethnic heritages, with the largest proportions being Black African and Black Caribbean. The proportion of pupils who speak English as an additional language and who are not fluent in English when they enter the school is treble the national average. The proportion known to be eligible for free school meals is also three times higher than the national average.
A four-day group exhibition in 2013 at a youth club in Battersea, London during a local Fringe Arts Festival. Emerge at Devas featured sculptures and mixed media, paintings, drawings and film by aspiring and professional artists; a range of ages and walks of life.
With support provided by an Unltd Star People Award