Inside Out Festival

An intergenerational arts event connecting younger adult with their care home neighbours to showcase the creative potential of care settings

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Inside Out Festival took place in November 2019 in Leyton and Leytonstone.  This new intergenerational arts event connected young adult locals with care home neighbours through creative making, conversation and community spirit!

In Autumn 2019 we recruited a group of local people to join us in this very unique opportunity and to exercise their artistic talents to create original art works in collaboration with older local neighbours. The results were presented in a public exhibition at two local care homes as part of Waltham Forest’s Borough of Culture’s ‘Make it Happen’ programme.

It was a special two days of life’s simple pleasures: creativity, connection, kindness, ballad choruses, cuppas and dance kicks with a zimmer frame! The time we spontaneously created an archway for Kathy and joyfully sang Do The Hokey Cokey as she bopped her way under it will stay with me for years. Happiness was with us all….

Penny, neighbour participant

This film below was made by one of the participants in the project – Zakariya Irfan. It shows how older people living at Glebelands residential care setting work with artists Ben Connors and Hassan Vawda with younger neighbours in Leyton to great an exciting art installation – changing the care space into an arts space. The film was made at the workshop on Saturday 16th Nov 2019.

Inside Out at Glebelands from Magic Me on Vimeo.

The Arts workshops in the care homes were be led by Magic Me’s team of professional artists Sue Mayo, Ben Connors, Natalie Keymist and Hassan Vawda. They transformed the care home environment and created something extraordinary.

Care Homes in our communities are exciting art venues in their own right, where inspiring and important art can be produced and exhibited.  Our groups of everyday artists made work that challenges ideas about what a care home is, what types of creative activities happen within care settings, and what local residents living in care homes are capable of. Working together intensively over two weekends, they created something truly unique.

At George Mason Lodge in Leytonstone artists Sue Mayo and Natalie Keymist led experiments with analogue photographic techniques to create silhouette portraits that then glowed out from inside the home to the outside world.

At Glebelands in Leyton, artists Ben Connors and Hassan Vawda led workshops exploring the theme ‘If our lives were a film’- creating works in a variety of media and putting on a spectacular display of cinema style posters to transform the exterior of the home.

Inside Out festival is possible thanks to ‘Make It Happen’ Waltham Forest Borough of Culture fellowship grants.

Inside Out Festival is part of Magic Me’s Quality Street programme bringing together generations in Waltham Forest.  The programme is funded by the L&Q Foundation.

(First Photo above from our workshop at George Mason Lodge in Leytonstone, second photo from Glebelands in Leyton).