We had a quick chat with Susan Ibreck, the lady behind Tottenham Now Arts Projects. They are responsible for the newly decorated air duct near Paige Green just across from Seven Sisters station (see feature image by Ulrike Leyens). They have also just finished an exhibition at the Bernie Grant Arts Centre in collaboration with some local schools.
Can you tell me a bit about Tottenham Now and how the project came about?
The project emanated out of a desire to capture the spirit and a sense of the area now. Importantly it was to look at how this spirit or character can be retained whilst we move through the planned large scale area regeneration.
How have you found working with local students?
It’s been absolutely brilliant to get to know more of the amazing children in our area – to hear their stories and see their talents really shining through – a total treat!
What could visitors see at the exhibition?
Colour and some very positive messages.
Are there any other key people or organisations involved in the project?
I have to mention the schools who have been incredible – namely Earlsmead and Park View, led by teachers with real passion and big ambition for their pupils. Key artists involved have included Lakwena and Abimaro, local live artist Kazuko Hohki and fashion and textiles tutor Aya Hosokawa plus local photographer Ulrike Leyens, Tottenham Textiles and graphic designer Mark Applegate. The Bernie Grant Arts Centre has been absolutely brilliant in supporting this project and funding from Haringey Council meant that we were able to achieve more than we’d hoped which is great.
Do you have plans to continue the project throughout the summer?
Tottenham Now will be supporting Tottenham Textiles to deliver their part of a brilliant summer school at Bernie Grant which will see kids taking over the centre!
What are you hoping the young people involved will take away from the whole process?
I hope they’ll take away a sense of pride of who they are – that what they think, say and do really matters and can create real impact. That they have a voice. I hope they’ll gain an awareness that whilst they are all from so many different backgrounds they are part of an incredible community which is all the better for having them in it.