Who’s involved

This project is set to be a real collaborative community effort, bringing together lots of talented and innovative people from the local area, we aim to bring you something for everyone.

Simon – Simon has two businesses located in Forest Hill and is on the executive of the Forest Hill Traders’ Association. Simon is also the person who has been running Forest Hill Library since the community took over in October 2016. Simon is acutely aware of how important the library is to the community, and has the experience to run a successful high street shop. Simon has always been a keen reader and writer, and intends to start a writing group from Leaf & Groove once it is open.

Charlotte – Charlotte has been in retail since before she left school, with M&S and John Lewis Partnership, then more recently at The Archie Parker and Waters Fishmonger – not to mention managing the Forest Hill Gin Club. Charlotte is also a web designer and social media manager and was lead designer on the FHTA web site, and that of Forest Hill Library.

Simon and Charlotte are committing their own time and money to ensuring the establishment of this venture, but once it is up and running there are a great number of additional people who will be putting on workshops and events, some of them listed below:

Adam – Adam is part of SeLar, who once operated from the basement of Doopo Doopo further down Dartmouth Road. SeLar run a whole range of events, classes and workshops – Blues Harmonica; Life Drawing (with local artist Jo Thomas); Oil Painting (with local artist Tom Cox); Drama workshop and the now famous Speakeasy – A once a month spoken word/music and performance art night that includes everyone from all sorts of parts of the community and includes working with Goldsmiths college to give their performance and writing students a platform to perform their work.

Miriam – Miriam is an Illustrator whose work encompasses book illustration, etching, children’s book authorship and illustration and surface design. Within these areas, she is interested in projecting herself into disparate times and places, imagining herself as other people, through inhabiting existing narratives and creating her own. “The words of Astrid Lindgren award winner Kitty Crowther have always resonated with me, she states that stories ‘develop you internally, they fine-tune your senses. They are like an act of breathing …Some people have an irrepressible urge to go out walking. But I had this irrepressible urge to walk inside my own head.’”

Miriam lectures at Norwich University of the Arts and UCA Farnham and has greatly enjoyed roles as Workshop Illustrator/Facilitator for organizations such as The Sorrell Foundation at Somerset House. Through work based training at the Victoria and Albert Museum she has been able to gain a deeper understanding of issues surrounding the preservation and illumination of Cultural Heritage.

Miriam has outlined a number of Prospective Workshops and Talks to hold at Leaf and Groove or the library itself:

Character Consequences – A workshop where families collaborate on life-size figures/creatures formed from their favourite book characters and created through a large scale version of the parlour game of Consequences.

Colour-Texture-Collage – A workshop where participants engage and rearrange the world around them through collage, experimenting with colour and texture to tell their own stories. Inspired by the work of picture book artists Wolf Erlbruch, Sara Fanelli, Laura Carlin and Beatrice Alemagna.

Around the World – A talk exploring the picture book tradition nationally and internationally.

The Fantastic Everyday – A workshop where participants make their own picture books based on the theme of the fantastic intruding into the everyday world. Exploring works such as Where the Wild Things Are, The Tiger Who Came to Tea, The Tunnel and Gorilla.

Amazing Animals – A workshop where families make animal masks based on picture book characters such as Elmer, Babar, Kipper, Mog, Peter Rabbit, Orlando, Gaston and Antoinette.

Natural Wonder – A workshop where participants draw and examine draw plants and flowers inspired by books which highlight the importance of the natural world such as The Little Gardener, Miss Rumphius, The Lorax and The Promise.

The New Everyday – A workshop where participants make their own picture books based on the theme of seeing the ordinary, everyday, hum-drum world around them in a new way. Exploring the work of Ezra Jack Keats, Christian Robinson, Edward Barden and Helen Borten.

And as well as Adam and Miriam, we hope to get a permanent alcohol license to host Forest Hill Gin Club, and hire the space for meetings, gatherings and private events. We also have some other very interesting individuals keen to get involved including Orlando, still a teenager, but very much focused on the here and now, he was on the BBC late last year discussing keeping teenagers out of crime and has been in Lewisham libraries bringing robotics into the library and discussing how robotics will becoming involved in all our everyday lives.