HB Reavis, the international workspace provider, and Waterloo-based Morley College London, one of the UK’s leading centres for adult education, have launched their collaborative ‘Past, Present and Future of Waterloo’ art exhibition at Elizabeth House.
The project will transform the colonnade on York Road, underneath the 1960s building, into a public art gallery with displays of imagery, artwork and textiles, bringing the area surrounding Elizabeth House to life.
The first phase of the exhibition sees five colonnade pillars dressed with imagery taken by Morley students and Digital Media and Photography Programme Manager, Steve Mepsted. The works, named ‘Pillars of the Community’, showcase the history of the area and include images of local people who have helped shape the landscape of Waterloo. The series includes photographs of Giles Goddard, the Vicar of St Johns Church Waterloo; volunteers from the Waterloo Action Centre; Elaine Andrews, Learning Resources Centre Manager at Morley College; and historic archive imagery.
In addition, the ‘Past, Present and Future of Waterloo’ project will see a further collection of decorated columns popping up with mosaics, paintings, drawings and ceramics created by Morley students. The project aims to highlight the area’s rich heritage and create an enlivened space for those working, living in and visiting the area.
There is also a carefully curated window display installed at Elizabeth House, showcasing the work undertaken by textiles and jewellery students at the college. The display includes a range of pieces from Morley students.
The collaboration with Morley College London is part of HB Reavis’ shorter-term plans to activate the building and surrounding area, in advance of the longer term plans to redevelop the site. In addition to enlivening York Road with public artwork, HB Reavis’ plans include the introduction of new retailers to add to the current offer. This includes welcoming the return of the much loved café Love and Scandal, who were previously in Lower Marsh, as well as the expansion of other independent Waterloo based enterprises: the Garden Shack, who specialise in selling indoor and outdoor plants, and a local coffee shop, Four Corners.
In addition they welcome LLS Café, who offers healthy and ethically produced deli-style food; handmade doughnut specialist, Crosstown Doughnuts; and Pancs, who provide sweet and savoury handcrafted pancake-wraps.
Adding to this, Sara Robertson-Jonas, Head of School for Visual and Digital Arts, Morley College London, said:
HB Reavis purchased Elizabeth House in May 2017. They have since appointed Stirling Prize-winning architects Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM) as design partner, to bring forward fresh proposals for the site that focus on replacing the outdated existing building with new work space and supporting the ambition of delivering approximately 13,000 new jobs for the area, as well as transforming the public space and pedestrian experience around the site.
The Morley College London exhibition runs until Winter 2019.