Lewisham Shopping Centre welcomes ‘The Garden of Hope’, created by local school children


Lewisham Shopping Centre is now home to ‘The Garden of Hope’, a collaborative installation that focuses on transformation, whilst celebrating the connections between hope, action, and change.

Located in the main atrium of the shopping centre, the exhibition is made up of flowers, plants and creatures created by nearly 400 pupils from Blackheath Prep. Participating students were invited to write messages featuring their personal hopes for the future, which are hung throughout the exhibition.

With an aim to reimagine and repurpose recyclable materials into objects of beauty, the ‘Garden of Hope’ has been created using waste materials donated by pupils and members of the local community. The exhibition aims to evoke a positive feeling of hope against the current backdrop of global events such as the pandemic, war, and climate change.

Paul Redden, Centre Director at Lewisham Shopping Centre, commented: “We are thrilled to unveil ‘The Garden of Hope’, created by the student community at Blackheath Prep. The exhibition is a fantastic use of waste materials from the area and the students have made a positive impact on their local environment. The installation aligns perfectly with our beliefs at Lewisham Shopping Centre, and the ‘WeAreLewisham’ Borough of Culture programme which is centred around the current climate emergency.”

Garden of Hope co-creators Mary Banker and Eli Azucena will also be hosting workshops throughout September and October for members of the community to get involved in the initiative.

The full list of events is as follows:
▪ 28th September 11-2:00pm – Art Workshop
▪ 1st October 2:30-5:30pm – Rock Painting Workshop
▪ 6th October 2:30-5:30 – Art Workshop
▪ 13th October 11-2pm – Art Workshop
▪ 24-30th October – Workshops TBC
Alex Matthews, Head at Blackheath Prep commented, “We are delighted that The Garden of Hope installation is now on display at Lewisham Shopping Centre for the wider community to enjoy.

This was a hugely exciting project for our school and brought together pupils from all years in collaboration and demonstration of our commitment to creativity, sustainability and community here at Blackheath Prep.”
The exhibition will be displayed until 30th October and is then expected to relocate to new locations around London, sharing the positive message of hope to communities who will have the chance to expand the garden with their own contributions.

For further information on the exhibition, please visit https://www.instagram.com/garden_of_hope_project/ or https://www.facebook.com/The-Garden-of-Hope.

Over the summer, Lewisham Shopping Centre also welcomed 2 beehives which house over 35,000 bees on the centre’s roof.

With an aim to help change people’s perception of the urban environment and reconnect the community with the subtle wonders of nature, the initiative serves as an invaluable learning resource for the local schools and community.

Guests are able to watch the progress of the bees via an interactive link which tracks their movements throughout the seasons, whilst also showing the process of creating by-products such as honey, soaps and waxes.