Friends of Grangewood Park (South Drawood exhibition)
- Year Invented: 2018
The Friends of Grangewood Park was founded in 2010 as a way to regenerate the park. The group came together and ran community consultations on what residents of the area want to see which they then feedback to the council. These consultations still run today. People see the group in the park and come to join them to see what they are doing. That’s how Karen got involved. When she was new to the area she ended up attending one of the group’s AGMs to find out what they were about and has been a volunteer since.
The group also oversee the upkeep of the park. For example, Ruth runs the edible garden. She started it in lockdown as a community food project. There was space in the park which wasn’t being used and she seized the opportunity to begin to grow food for the community. Food was grown there in World War Two so why couldn’t it be grown there again?
Everyone loves Grangewood park and the friends group have made such a difference to the local community. You can often find them clearing up the park, sweeping leaves and planting seeds. Check out their website for more information of how you can get involved!
Words by Elizabeth Walters
Interview with Ruth, Karen and Andrea, Members of Friends of Grangewood park, April 2022
Friends of Grangewood Park
This project was part of the South Drawood exhibition in 2022 by artist Jonny Kemp. A community art project celebrating the people of South Norwood, SE25.
From autumn of 2021 to summer 2022, Jonny drew 40 portraits of independent business owners, volunteers, and other movers and shakers from South Norwood, his local area. His partner Lizzie interviewed them.
South Norwood is regenerating yet doesn’t want to gentrify: it wants to keep its character and support people who already live in the area to prosper. This was Jonny and Lizzie’s way of ‘giving South Norwood a hug’: by representing the diverse people of SE25 through portraits in fine liner pen, and their own stories.
The portraits were displayed in Stanley Arts, a beautiful Edwardian arts venue on South Norwood Hill. Over 150 people attended the opening night: Friday 29th July 2022.