Olga, Café Terra (South Drawood exhibition)
- Year Invented: 2018
Café Terra is a little bit of Portugal in South Norwood. The menu is written in Portuguese and a lot of the dishes on offer are traditional Portuguese delicacies. Olga, the owner of Café Terra, was born in Madeira and keeping her traditions alive is important to her, as reflected in the café. She has always worked in catering but was made redundant during the COVID-19 lockdown and saw an opportunity to do something new for herself. Her café is friendly and family orientated and customers like to come to the café to chill out in the relaxed atmosphere. Olga also offers a downstairs space where different local groups come to meet and customers can go to relax.
Like so many others displayed, Olga loves the community of South Norwood. She notes how the community help each other out. She is a prime example of this, saying on Sundays she likes to go and have breakfast over the road from her own café, in No. 241 Norwood. She sees the area changing and developing, with so much potential on offer. Olga would like to see more bins on the high street to reduce the amount of litter. She also says that decorations would really brighten up the main roads, such as flowers or lights at Christmas.
Words by Elizabeth Walters
Interview with Olga, owner of Café Terra, January 2022
208a Selhurst Road, London, SE25 6XU
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.