Elephant and Castle is currently undergoing a large scale redevelopment led by Southwark Council.
“The redevelopment of Elephant and Castle is an ambitious programme of change that will culminate in one of the largest regeneration programmes ever seen in Europe.” www.elephantandcastle.org.uk
As part of the regeneration of the area, Southwark Council is engaging the local community in the changes. Siobhan Davies Dance was invited to lead a dance and visual art project for two local Southwark primary schools, Year 3 of St John’s Walworth and Year 4 of English Martyr’s. The focus of the project was the Strata SE1 residential building at the top of Walworth Road which when completed will be the tallest tower in Elephant and Castle.
The aim of the project was to build the children’s awareness of the changes happening in their local area. They observed, questioned and discussed the environment around them using skylines, street maps, patterns in buildings and building structure as a stimulus to create movement.
Alongside the dance sessions, the children took part in drawing sessions with Reuben Powell, visual artist in residence at the Elephant and Castle shopping centre, to record their observations of the local area. The project also included contributions from the project manager and architect of Strata SE1 to give the children an insight into the decisions that are made when a building is being planned, designed and constructed. Local historian John Constable led the participants on a walk from the RIBA award winning building Siobhan Davies Studios to Strata SE1 and back, pointing out the changing face of this area.
The eight week project culminated in a public performance at Siobhan Davies Studios to an audience of over 65 people which included a walk around the local area with the historian. The children’s art work was displayed throughout the building as well as becoming the back drop for the dance performance that took place in the Roof Studio.
From the end of September 2009 large scale photos from the project will be displayed on the hoardings of the base of Strata SE1. There will also be a film that documents the project available to view on our website in September.