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Bernie Grant Arts Centre: Tottenham Tapestries

An innovative borough-led arts project told the story of the people of Tottenham through memories, motifs and spoken word. Inspired by traditional tapestries from the Americas and Africa, where stories would be recorded onto the fabric, six bespoke digital designs have been developed by interdisciplinary Artist Andrea Ling with input from the local community who call the High Road home. 

The artworks formed an interactive art trail installed at 5 locations at Bernie Grant Arts Centre, providing a visual exploration of the area’s past, present and future at one of the borough’s more important cultural venues. The artworks are paired with audio-tapestries which bring the voices of the community to the heart of the project; a multi-sensory display aimed at engaging the passing public and celebrating an influential close-knit community. 

Welcome Tapestry maps the High Road using destination motifs to illustrate the important landmarks and community hubs, introducing Tottenham’s diverse community and exploring the importance of connection and a sense of place.  

History Tapestry integrates totems from memories and stories told by local and business owners on the High Road, a celebratory piece of past moments, recording and preserving a piece of history both verbally and visually.  

Odyssey Tapestry, inspired by Greek friezes, explores the power of resilience through testing times including lock-down and the Tottenham Riots, the artwork explores the significance of strong community bonds. 

Youth Culture Tapestry discovers the need for support in the community for young people through access to creative outlets and artistic projects – inspired by Egyptian Hieroglyphics the design creates new symbols to communicate the raw power of the next generation. 

Future Tapestry completes the series, local interviews and community workshops considered the future of the borough, from economy and living standards to community wellbeing and local business support. The final design holds the energy of these meetings and the hopes and dreams for the future of Tottenham. 

Tottenham Tapestries is a Pacha People production in partnership with Bernie Grant Arts Centre, Bruce Castle Museum and supported by Hi CULTURE!  The project demonstrates the importance of public art and accessible creative projects to form identity and forge impactful public engagements, our community art projects inspire and endorse communities, celebrating their ongoing legacy. 

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