Mountford Growing Community Tile Stories
Location: Mountford Estate, Hackney

Work in progress - 2024 

Mountford Growing Community Tile Stories is a creative initiative set in the heart of Hackney’s Mountford Estate. This project aims to capture and celebrate the vibrant gardening efforts and the rich stories of the residents through a series of ceramic tile panels. The project is currently a work in progress and is set to be delivered this summer.

The central focus of the project is to create beautiful, hand-made ceramic tiles that reflect the various gardens started by the residents across the estate. These tiles serve as a visual and tactile storytelling medium, illustrating the unique narratives and botanical diversity of these community spaces.

Each panel is composed of individual tiles that are connected together to form a larger picture, telling a cohesive and meaningful story. The stories depicted are always conveyed through the plants grown in these gardens, making the artwork particularly resonant for the residents. This method of using smaller tiles to create a bigger image reflects how individuals come together to form a larger community.

One highlighted panel will be dedicated to the Children's Garden, featuring a greenhouse. This panel will tell the story of the children’s gardening experiences, showcasing the types of plants they grow and the joy and learning that happens in this green space. The illustrations and carvings on the ceramic tiles will bring to life the greenhouse, the plants, and the growth journey of the children.

Another panel will depict the story of artichokes, which some residents grew back in their native countries and have started growing on the estate. This panel, made up of many smaller tiles, will reflect this connection to their heritage and the continuation of their gardening traditions.

Additionally, there will be a panel illustrating the fruit trees grown around the estate, including the story of a banana tree that one resident has been attempting to grow and is still nurturing. This panel will celebrate the dedication and care taken by the residents to maintain these gardens.

Each tile is meticulously hand crafted, cut, and carved by me, reflecting the dedication and care put into every piece. The flowers, foliage, and imagery on the tiles are designed to capture the essence of the gardens and the community’s stories of growth, nurturing, and connection to nature.

This project not only beautifies the estate but also fosters a sense of pride and belonging among the residents, celebrating their contributions to creating a green and vibrant community. The individual smaller tiles coming together to form larger panels symbolise how each person is a part of the larger picture, contributing to the community as a whole.