The Art of  Growing Club was born from our dream to create a community green roof, known as Groof, on the roof of our building that is the size of a football pitch. We know that realising this dream may be a few years down the line, but we are looking for community voice and community activity with us from the start.

The Art of Growing Club takes place on Wednesday mornings between 10am and 1pm in our Education Space and, when the weather is fine, on our terrace that banks onto the canal. Open to all, local people of all ages, backgrounds and life experiences come together to sow seeds and sew cloth, plant vegetables and root around in creative ideas. We share stories over a cup of tea or healthy juice and explore the local parks and canals through artist led walks. We also visit other local community groups to make links and share ideas. We are growing a community together so our club is an organic process, not a pre-packaged experience.

The Art of Growing Club is led by Charlotte Mew artist and visual poet. Other artists who are involved include Maggie Rose sculptor and environmental artist, Jon George painter and printmaker and Emma Gunningham painter.  Two local volunteers,  Maria Andrews and Yasmin Kauser also contribute their wonderful skills to the project.

An exhibition of art work produced by the Art of Growing Club was shown at the View Tube throughout April and May 2010.

On Saturday July 10th 2010, the club had  a stall at the Praxis New Voices Festival at Bethnal Green Park to showcase their  artwork  and to talk about the project to local people.

Thoughts on The Art of Growing Club from Charlotte Mew
to gather together and grow to recycle to sew
to take local walks with a view in mind
pointing out and collecting what we find
taking the lead or tagging behind
to find out
to know
to take time to grow.
Thoughts from participants
“I enjoy the opportunity to use my creativity and imagination in a supportive space”
“The friendship and sharing in the group is great”
“I enjoy the days out to gardens and museums to look at planting, flowers and creativity”
“I have been able to awaken my dormant ability to create and play without pressure of judgement”
“I love the spontaneity”
“It is good to be able to recycle common every day objects artistically to make art”

The Art of Growing project has been funded by Tower Hamlets Healthy Boroughs Programme since November 2009 and has recently been awarded a second round of funding.

For more information, click here to email us.

View more photos from the Art of Growing Club on flickr.
This project is funded by the Tower Hamlets Healthy Boroughs Programme