The power of art

Older woman drawing on the roof of Coin Street neighbourhood centre

During these uncertain times, our over 50s art group sessions have allowed local residents to access their creativity.

Funding from Illuminated River Foundation’s Community Fund enabled us to develop and deliver art workshops for people aged 50 and over. Each week the group painted different Illuminated River bridges, using a range of art mediums and styles. Their final pieces were so fantastic that we are featuring them on our local billboard right next to Waterloo Bridge!

Local resident and art group regular Michael Heath shares why these sessions were so important to him.

painting of a bridge from illuminated river art sessions

“It was a real joy to join the Coin Street art group for the Illuminated Bridges art sessions as I have such an affinity with the South Bank and surrounding area. I am currently working part time for the London Rivers environmental charity, Thames21, so I am familiar with the river have taking part in a number of activities with Thames21, along the River Thames.

“Rivers and bridges have always been a personal interest. Whilst I was aware of the Illuminated Bridges project, having sketched river scenes before this art project, it was a real delight to explore new ways of capturing river scenes and my personal feelings for the Thames and London. I also had the opportunity to learn more about Illuminated River and influential artists through the Art History sessions run alongside the art project.

drawing from illuminated bridges art sessions

“I first became familiar with Coin Street, the South Bank and the local people in the mid-nineties when I served as a police office in Southwark. At that time the area was being regenerated with the completion of the Globe Theatre and the turbines were being removed from the old power station that is today the wonderful Tate modern. Ever since a stroll along the South bank has been a regular must and something I have missed during 2020. The art project helped me to keep in touch with one of my favourite areas in our magnificent city and expand my art skills too!

“I very much look forward to visiting Coin Street again and joining in future Coin Street Art Group projects, whatever the subject."

Thanks to Illuminated RiverEllie, our wonderful art tutor, Anna, Arts and creative programmes coordinator at Coin Street and all at Coin Street neighbourhood centre. 

- Micheal