Interactive community art? “It’s a Newham Thing”.

PUBLISHED: 10:00 06 July 2012

Rosemary Aitcheson, a florist in Forest Gate, champions The Pagoda.

Rosemary Aitcheson, a florist in Forest Gate, champions The Pagoda.


Community art doesn’t get more local than “It’s a Newham Thing” - an interactive exhibition to celebrate your favourite hotspots.

Commissioned by Newham New Deal Partnership (NDP), the new project highlights unusual and hidden places within Newham loved by residents and visitors.

The brainchild of local artist and filmmaker Rayna Nadeem, the exhibition will be launched in Stratford Library but a map of interesting spots will be distributed in schools, community centres, libraries, and hotels with local volunteers handing them out during the Olympic Games.

Rayna said: “‘It’s a Newham Thing’ is a year long audio-visual project that explores and celebrates locality.

“I have been working with Newham residents who have been exploring and re-engaging with their immediate environment by nominating their cherished places around the borough, which I have been documenting through interviews and photography.

“Our project will be accessible to everybody - not only can they hear the personal audio interviews online, they can interact and upload their own favourite places on to our virtual map.

“We want this to be an evolving story as Newham’s face continues to change, our map will be there for local groups and individuals to contribute to, to browse and to use for reference.”

Jessica Wanamaker, chief executive of Newham NDP, said; “It’s a great opportunity to get celebrate the diverse places and fasincating history in Newham and to get local people involved with identifying places in the borough they love.”

The exhibition is funded by the Olympic Lottery’s Transformers Grant, the Arts Council, and is also supported by ELBA.

The “It’s a Newham Thing” public launch will be held at Stratford Library on Thursday July 5 from 5.30pm to 7.30pm.

To get involved, contact Chi Gavhure at or visit

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