Making a (spring) splash at Gnome House

The community art hub reopens with an all-encompassing Spring Splash event, writes the centre’s digital content creator, Chissola da Conceicao

(Credit: Gnome House)

As we reopen our doors and welcome the community back into Gnome House (on Blackhorse Lane), we’ve organised an event in May to showcase what our space is all about: art, performance, and the youth.

The lockdown has required our community to step up and support each other – as individuals experienced loss, solitude, and mental health issues.

We did our best. When we couldn’t be together in person, our Inky Kids Art and Inky Cuttlefish Health and Wellbeing were meeting regularly on Zoom to keep in touch . They also made art, which will now be exhibited at our Spring Splash event.

Inky Cuttlefish: a group of artists who meet on Zoom (Credit: Gnome House)
Art created Jenny Thomas as part of Inky Cuttlefish’s group

Spring Splash will essentially showcase what we have been up to during lockdown – plus providing the live entertainment we’ve really missed.

Expect a drumming workshop with Seneka, performances by the Mulberry School of Dance, Jazz E17 and Kan Beng, plus live performances by young people from Big Creative Education and a member of our RatPack group, Barnadas.

RatPack is Gnome House’s youth group, made up of creative kids between the ages of eight to 16 from Waltham Forest, who share the same creative interests. Initially, it began as an art club, but the group are now involved in a wide range of activities – from gardening pursuits to participating in a Black History event in October last year.

RatPack members (Credit: Gnome House)
Outside Gnome House (Credit: Gnome House)

In partnership with Project Zero, the youth group were able to manage the event which celebrated Afro-Colombian culture. Last summer, RatPack planned and distributed art packs to the wider community – targeting kids with similar backgrounds to encourage them to take part in art and make it accessible.

RatPack as a group is also run by the young people involved, too. I’m 19, and I manage the digital content, while 16-year-old Isabelle is our social media manager.

Over the past year, we’ve managed to keep busy, even with restrictions in place.

Creative work (Credit: Gnome House)

Gnome House have presented Illuminated Screenings every weeknight after dark with art, photography and film projected onto the windows of the Gnome House café. Our Virtual Community Centre includes live and pre-recorded content from local creatives.

For Spring Splash, we’re excited to be back – but measures will be put in place to ensure we adhere to Covid-19 regulations and maintain a safe social distance.

Spring Splash is a free event, taking place on Sunday 23rd May from 11am and 9pm. To find out more, visit Gnome House