Crafting a community-led regeneration policy
“What does home feel like, look like, smell like, sound like?” Words taken from spoken word piece by Grace Deveer, project participant
This short film is part of a series of works that explore the challenges posed by regeneration and gentrification for local communities in Brixton. Using an arts-based approach, textile policies were made over four online sessions in July and August in 2020. A mixed media layering of domestic materials and processes, such as embroidery and felting, facilitated conversation and reflection over the hidden and real-life experiences of planning processes.
Bespoke ‘collage kits’ were distributed to participants who were introduced to the technique of dry felting which is excellent for 2 and 3D sculpting of ideas. The course also included a session with Photofusion, an independent photography resource centre in the heart of Brixton, covering printing on fabrics. Artists Andrea Morreau and Emily O’Mara (with photographer Ellie Laycock as facilitator and participant) guided the participants through different techniques and ideas for decorating and embellishing the pieces.
The next phase saw the works made into a showreel which was then projected onto various iconic Brixton buildings and public spaces. In this way, the intimate and domestic quality of the works was writ large into the public realm in a commentary of how spaces and places become vulnerable to the property development taking place. A final film (above) was then produced from this footage.
A forthcoming exhibition at 198 in Railton Road Brixton (Sep 12-16) will include all original material, excerpts from the participants' workbooks, the original handcrafted woollen map of Brixton, a projection of the film, and a chance to write your own community-led housing policy.

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