9 July 2021

Community exhibition showcases lockdown artwork

Octavia   Bridgewater House  82OCT 280917 0214 5M sRGB

In support of Kensington and Chelsea Arts week and the positive impact art can have on health and wellbeing, Octavia displayed an impressive collection of lockdown paintings, digital art and films through a free exhibition for London residents and art lovers.

Hosted at The Reed in Notting Hill from Monday 28 June to Friday 3 July, ‘Art through the ages: a community project’ mixed work from older residents living in Octavia’s extra care schemes with that of younger people who attend the housing provider’s digital youth club. Guests included Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea councillor, Ian Henderson. 

Held in celebration of the contribution creativity can have in enhancing quality of life, the community exhibition featured the work of some 20 residents, many of whom have dementia, who all take part in weekly arts and crafts sessions at Burgess Field and James Hill House extra care schemes.

 Sarah Shaw, Director of Homes, Care and Communities, said: “This exhibition is a prime example of the benefits creative activities can have in care settings. Besides providing a creative outlet, sense of purpose and the chance to learn a new skill, our arts and crafts sessions encourage residents to form close friendships with others and can even help combat memory loss. The results have been resoundingly positive, improving both physical and mental health. One older gentleman was delighted to be able to put his paintings on show in his home and share photos of them with relatives living abroad. Living with severe dementia, this has significantly improved his self-esteem and even reduced his visits to hospital.”

‘Art through the ages’ also put younger creativity on show, giving greater visibility to locally based talent from Octavia’s dynamic digital media programme, including the award-winning ‘Birth of Cool’ project. A National Lottery heritage funded initiative run by Octavia, Birth of Cool explores the 1960s Kings Road, an area renowned as a melting pot of new music, cutting edge fashion, protest, and culture, as seen through the eyes of today’s generation of young west Londoners. 

The curated film, photography and t-shirt collection is the work of more than 130 local young people, who were mentored and inspired by leading industry professionals including Director of Photography, Bani Mendy, style photographer, Nina Manandhar, and brand guru and marketing expert, Jayne Robinson.

From 21 June – 31 August, the inaugural Kensington + Chelsea Festival will bring people together to inspire and be inspired. Launched with Kensington + Chelsea Art Week, the festival’s programme puts culture at the heart of the borough’s recovery from the pandemic. 

We are Octavia  

Founded in the 1860s by philanthropist Octavia Hill, our work today covers three areas: homes, support and care.  

We provide people in central and west London with quality, affordable homes. With opportunities, connections and inspiration. And with the personalised care they need. Delivering equality through everything we do. For the common good, since 1865. 

See our website for more information: www.octavia.org.uk