We’ve thrilled to have won a GLA grant for a new heritage trail to celebrate working class Art in Everyday life in Somers Town!
The Mayor’s Fund ‘Untold Stories’ funds projects that tell the stories of London’s diverse histories in the public realm. Our project ‘Hanging the stories’ will create a new heritage trail in the public realm: a contemporary reimagining of missing unique working class Gilbert Bayes heritage. It also tell the unheard stories of diverse working class people that lived in the courtyards of St Pancras Housing.
What was art in everyday life?
This art is the legacy of a 1930s visionary St Pancras housing association, whose motto ‘Housing is not enough’ placed community public and art in housing: decorative birds, ships and other ‘finials’ topped drying posts where washing was hung so:
“people could see them going about their everyday business: …truly ‘art in everyday life’ by socialist artist Gilbert Bayes, part of a pioneering housing project … putting art and beauty together with social housing”Wayne Hemmingway, designer
Stolen Gilbert Bayes Art
Tragically, over 80 ‘art in everyday life’ decorative ceramics have been stolen and auctioned. Their neglect and theft rightly angered many residents.
We hope with this project to restore the art to Somers Town where it belongs via a heritage trail and buying back the missing finials where we can for display in a safe manner in our museum gallery.
We are also campaigning to raise awareness – over 100 artworks are still missing, and to raise funds to buy back more finials to restore these to our area.
You can support our quest , please donate on our GoFundMe page
Stolen art restituted!
We successfully bid for and have two new acquistions: a Tailor and a Draper that were in the St Francis Flats. We will display the two on the Saturday event April 1st at the People’s Museum A Space for us in Somers Town.
A public event will celebrate the art – with a guided walk around the estate, giving access to unseen art, a talk and film and art activities.
When does the project begin?
Hanging the Stories is a community-led project and we partner with editcollective, an all-female architecture practice.
We kick off on Saturday April the 1st at the People’s Museum A Space for us in Somers Town.
There are many ways to get involved as we want include many local community voices in the creation:
- in the stories gathering – we start workshops in May
- Comparing the folk tales behind the ‘finials’
- in the design as we will form a community group to co-design and inform the design
So please join in and make history with us!