Hackney Mosaic Project

Keith Parkins
Apr 1, 2015 · 4 min read

A place where people, regardless of their background or problems, can work together making mosaics for public spaces in Hackney.

The aim at The Hackney Mosaic Project is to improve the quality life for participants and at the same time improve the quality of the lives of the wider community by enhancing the city with unique artworks.

We want to create a place where everyone can work together on a shared task, regardless of their background or their problems.

Many of the participants are introduced through the Drug and Alcohol Services in Hackney and through the mental health charity MIND.

The Hackney Mosaic Project has proved to be a lifeline for those who participate. People who are suffering from social exclusion and loneliness can focus on the practical task of making a piece of art with their own hands and gradually come to feel part of the group and share in the sense of pride and achievement. The manual activity is in itself therapeutic to many people, providing a task that distracts from inner turmoil, and a calming rhythm that eventually produces a tangible physical result.

The project helps people to integrate with the local community, and reduces the stigma associated with addiction and mental illness. It also provides a highly visible demonstration of the valuable contribution that they can make, and an opportunity for them to give something back to society.

Little drops make an ocean. Little drops of water make an ocean. So, if everyone did what Tessa is trying to do and Lifeline [Project] then, you know, we would live in a better world probably, because everyone would try and do something for others.

The Project has been running for over 3 years now and has formed a strong core group who pass on their skills to new members. The quality of the work was recognised last year with the British Association of Modern Mosaic’s Mosaic of the Year Award.

This year, however, Hackney Council is no longer able to offer the funding needed to continue the work. Without support it will not be possible to complete future commissions, and there are plenty of parks across the Borough of Hackney that could use some brightening up.

The pleasure of making things by hand used to be a part of everyday life but opportunities for these activities have all but disappeared in our modern world. For participants, hands on activities like the mosaic project are a crucial part of their life; improving their mental stability, and giving them a routine and a place to socialise.

For the project to continue it needs funding. The best way forward is Community Supported Art through crowd funding on Kickstarter.

Personally I think StartJoin would have been a better platform as they crowd fund for art and community projects, and donate to these projects.

A clever idea, the person who bids the highest, would have a mosaic designed for them.

Seeing the people at work, I am very much reminded of a visit to Centro de Artesanía de La Guancha and seeing at work the weavers and basket makers carrying out traditional crafts.

Art Lovers

All things art

    Keith Parkins

    Written by

    Writer, thinker, deep ecologist, social commentator, activist, enjoys music, literature and good food.

    Art Lovers

    All things art

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