Make a leaf, make a friend!
Dreaming Forest Art Project
The Dreaming Forest is an intergenerational arts project to connect people across Hammersmith.
Many of our residents in our sheltered housing schemes have missed their usual human connections terribly during lockdown. This is true for many local children and families as well.
To tackle isolation and uplift our communities’ spirits, Hammersmith United Charities initiated an art project, developed by artist Carolyn Defrin in partnership with our amazing grantees from Wendell Park and Old Oak Primary school, Solidarity Sports and the LIDO Foundation. To make the project accessible to different generations and across all groups of society, it was important to us to organise something off-line. Every participant received a special packet just for them with wooden birch leaves and additional materials for decorating.
Birch trees are a symbol of hope and regeneration, so it was only fitting that our leaves were made of birchwood!
In the first round of this project children from Wendell Park Primary, Old Oak Primary School and the LIDO foundation were sent two wooden birch leaves, a set of craft materials and the question “What are you dreaming about?” Using watercolors and stencils the children and families (aged 6-adult) shared their dreams and decorated their leaf halves:
“Seeing all of my friends again in the park.”
“I want to meet a flying angel.”
“I am dreaming about an equal world for all.”
On the other leaf half, children and families asked a question for their new pen pals to answer:
“What are you most proud of?”
“How many people are in your family?”
“What is your favourite memory?”
The leaves were then collected and sent to the residents at our sheltered Housing schemes and the children at Solidarity Sports. These new pen pals get to keep the leaf that was made for them and send a new leaf back.
Our hope is to reunite all pen-pals by the end of the year by creating a dreaming forest together with all the leaves!