In 2022, Islington Heritage Service appointment printmaker Georgie Fay as the first Artist-Educator-in-Residence for Bunhill Heritage, a three-year community project that will see three different artists explore the rich history south Islington. Thanks to our local partner, St Luke’s Community Centre, each artist receives a studio space for one year where they can focus on their own practice as well as their development of the project.
St Luke’s Community Centre is a hub for all walks of life in south Islington with a very active range of older service users and a thriving number of families who regularly attend. Fascinated by this age spectrum, Georgie chose to explore the heritage of Bunhill with older residents and primary aged children, as well as forging great bonds with the Women’s Multicultural Group. Georgie visited St Luke’s C of E Primary School and City of London Primary Academy Islington (COLPAI) to deliver a series of workshops encouraging Year 4 pupils to explore community heritage through art and creativity. Each school visited Bunhill Fields and learned more about the many hundreds of years of history on their doorsteps. Pupils even got to use a real-life printing press, as printmaking is a large part of Bunhill’s heritage. De La Rue printers, famous for printing bank notes, once had their offices on Bunhill Row.
Georgie’s workshops were supported by a variety of engagement activities such as walks, talks, craft workshops and family activities which were open to all. Georgie gave six hours per month to the St Luke’s Centre, where she got to know more of the staff and service users. In the past year, Bunhill Heritage has engaged with over 1,000 local people.
Throughout this time, Georgie has been working on her main goal: to create a work of public art that reflects the heritage of Bunhill. She did this with contributions and inspiration from the residents she worked with. Early in 2023, Islington Heritage will unveil Georgie’s work in Bunhill Fields, supported by our partners at the City of London who own and manage the site. We are pleased to provide a preview of in-progress designs by Georgie.
Inspired by the many historic industries that once existed in this part of Islington, Georgie’s artwork consists of printed banners of original artwork, suspended above ground in Bunhill Fields. The banners will hang from a metal ring reminiscent of a printing press wheel, suspended by ropes attached to the trees. Printmaking, ironmongery, and rope making were all industries in Bunhill between the 18th and 20th centuries.
The work of art will refer to more than just these three aspects of heritage, but we are pleased that these will feature prominently in the completed design. We look forward to unveiling the finished design early this year.
In 2022, Islington Heritage Service partnered with the London Irish Centre to create the first Islington Irish Month. This month-long programme of heritage activities included schools workshops, trad music sessions, heritage walks, a charity céilí and open air concert in Navigator Square, Archway. The month celebrated the impact the Irish community has had on the London Borough of Islington and beyond. The month coincided with the appointment of the first Irish-born Mayor of Islington, Cllr Troy Gallagher.
Navigator Square in Archway (located on the border of Junction and Hillrise wards) is an area of significant Irish heritage. Navigator Square (known as Archway Close until 2018) is named after the predominantly Irish builders, known as ‘navvies.’ St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, the Whittington Hospital and several contemporary and historical pubs also have connections to the Irish community. In 2022, this area of Islington was marked with a free Family Day with music and performers, part of the first Islington Irish Month.
According to most recent census data, Islington has one of the highest levels of people who identify as Irish, along with Camden and Brent. In the years following the Brexit Referendum, applications for Irish passports have surged. From 2016-2018, the Irish Embassy in London issued 176,000 passports, and the 2018 record was broken once again in 2019. Many people in Islington now identify as second or third generation Irish, and the surge in passport applications reflects an acknowledgement of this generational trend.
The Archway Mosaic is a legacy project of Islington Irish Month, to be completed and installed at Navigator Square in March 2023.
Islington Heritage Service undertakes community development projects to support the lives of residents, creating opportunities for inclusion and development, while improving wellbeing and reducing social isolation. We work with demographics such as families and under-5s, young people, over-55s as well as the general community in Islington.
The Heritage Team are working with colleagues in Local Economy to produce this mosaic. The artwork is part of the wider community development plan of Archway’s local economy. The aims include promoting Archway as a desirable place to visit; to support the local economy and increase footfall; to provide a sense of placemaking, and for residents to feel that their heritage is recognised and celebrated.
Community Engagement – Mosaic Artist
We wish to engage a local mosaic artist to work with the 4 schools in the area to create a work of public art, a mural depicting the legacy of the Irish community in Islington.
The completed artwork will be installed on a wall at Navigator Square, which has been earmarked for the mosaic. The wall has 14m of space available, but the mosaic does not need to be this size. The mosaic could consist of 4 boards, representing the work or influence of each school, as well as work from the artist. For example, these could be 1.5m x 1m and spread out. The colourful mosaic will serve as a tribute to the Irish community in Islington. The mosaic will also include aspect of wayfinding for residents and those visiting Archway, to direct them to key locations such as Archway Station, Whittington Hospital and Archway Library.
Prior to the creation of the artwork, the artist will undertake art workshops at 4 local schools in the area and the outcomes of those workshops will help inspire the creation of a work of public art. The art will draw on the Irish heritage of Archway and Islington, exploring both traditional and contemporary depictions of Irish culture and the legacy of that community in Islington.
The artist will be paid a set fee of £5,000 for the creation of the mosaic and £200 per session in each school (12 sessions, 3 at each school, a combined total of £2,400).
As part of the agreement, the artist will:
Receive the costs of materials used to create the main artwork
Receive appropriate guidance to effectively lead activities with school groups
Lead approximately 12 workshops at 4 schools
Explore the history of the Irish community in Islington and undertake appropriate research for inspiration
The artist will work closely with Islington Heritage Service, with support from the Heritage Learning Manager as needed.
We seek an artist with experience in creating mosaics who is experienced in leading workshops and educational activities. The successful candidate will gain support and guidance in the methodologies, but it is essential that candidates have some experience in leading workshops/classes
It is desirable that candidates with a connection to Archway and/or Islington apply
We look forward to receiving applications from candidates who feel they fit the requirements, and encourage candidates from diverse backgrounds (race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality, class background) to apply.
Join us for messy play and imaginative storytelling sessions.
£2 donation per child. Wear old clothes!
Messy Play: World War I Centenary
12th June, 10.00-11.30 am.
Join us to learn about Islington’s World War I collection and engage in some creative and messy play.
Storytelling: Fighting Apartheid in Islington
19th June, 10.00-11.30 am.
Join storyteller Dani as she explores the inspiring ways in which the people of Islington fought against injustice during Apartheid in South Africa.
Messy Play: Victorian Medicine
28th June, 10.00-11.30 am.
Make a mess at our Victorian Medicine themed session! Inspired by the museum’s pharmacy collection, come and concoct strange mixtures, consider interesting ingredients and get creative.
Sing-a-Long: Entertaining Islington!
12th July, 10.00-11.30 am.
Sing and dance your way through the history of entertainment here in Islington! Crack jokes like Grimaldi the clown, roar like a lion from the Agricultural Hall, and belt out show tunes like the performers of yesteryear.
Messy Play: Entertaining Islington!
17th July, 10.00-11.30 am.
Join us for messy art about the Arts! Hide your face behind mysterious masks, create your own instruments and use your imagination to jump into the wondrous world of the theatre.
Storytelling: 53 Cross Street House
7th August, 10.00-11.30 am.
Storyteller Dani takes us on a journey through time, unearthing layers of history at local house, 53 Cross Street.
Messy Play: Archaeology
16th August, 10.00-11.30 am.
It’s time to grab your shovel and pail and dig in to the history of Islington! Discover ancient artefacts at our archaeological dig, create your own cave paintings, and get your hands dirty as you use your imagination to discover the stories beneath your feet.
Join us at the museum for some messy play and imaginative storytelling, as the leaves fall and the weather turns colder!
Outside of our monthly programming we also have fabulous dress up boxes, toy kitchen and shop, exciting toys and lots to explore and learn, all in a warm and welcoming environment. Do drop in and visit us!
We look forward to seeing you soon!
For more info please get in touch with Rebecca:
02075273235 or Rebecca.Campbell-Gay@islington.gov.uk
Join us for a summer of creative fun at Islington Museum.
Family Workshop: Sunshine Printing
10th August, 1pm—3pm, £3 per family
Come as a family and learn how to make prints using just sunlight, plants and water!
We will collect beautiful natural objects in the park before having time to experiment and create your own family artwork inspired by summer.
Under 5’s very welcome. Bring sun cream and water if it’s hot.
Messy play: Victorian Seaside
15th August 2017, 10am-11.30am, £2 per child
Come along to our Victorian Seaside! Play Victorian seaside games, build colourful sandcastles and make seaside art.
Messy Play does get messy – don’t forget a change of clothes!
Family Workshop: Prints and Protests
22nd August, 10am—12pm, , £3 per family
The people of Islington have always stood up for what they believe in. Join us for a messy printmaking workshop to make beautiful banners telling us what you and your family think is important!
Messy Play:Summer Garden
29th August, 10am—11.30am
Dig up wiggly worms in our messy soil, print with beautiful flowers and create colourful summertime crafts!
Messy Play does get messy – don’t forget a change of clothes!
We look forward to seeing you soon! Have a lovely summer.
Join us this half term for one of our exciting family events, below, or simply pop in to say hello and play in our toy and role play corners!
Dance in Swan Lake
30th May, sessions at 10am and 11am. Under 5’s.
Join us at Moreland Children’s Centre to take part in our special ballet class for all the family. Become a beautiful swan or a swashbuckling hero.
Then explore Islington Museum’s beautiful theatre collection with our ballet themed crafts.
Screen printing and Storytelling: Spanish Civil War
Family Workshop and Stories (under 5’s welcome)
1st June, 10am-2pm. Stories at 10am and 10.40am (if enough people).
Come as a family to discover the Spanish Civil War. Join in our sensory adventure taking aid to Spain, travelling across water and mountains.Then get messy making your own mono and screen printed banners.
Don’t forget a packed lunch and messy clothes. Booking required.
To book or for more info please get in touch with us at: