What?: We went to a really weird exhibition at the South London Gallery a while ago; one of those where there’s just an old stereo playing white noise and a tar stain on the wall, and I wasn’t really sure what to do with that, but then I discovered that my favourite artist-educator, Natalie Zervou-Kerruish of Starting With Art, runs occasional kids’ Sunday workshops there, and that in fact the Sunday workshops happen every Sunday with different artists and activities each time. I assumed these wouldn’t involve an old stereo playing white noise and tar stains on the wall, so we went along on the next Sunday we happened to be at a loose end.
We didn’t check the site in advance so had no idea what to expect but were pleasantly surprised by both the venue – a light and airy studio round the back of the main gallery – and the activity – T-shirt customisation. I was also fricking thrilled by how hands-off the artists running the session were, and more than happy to be left to our own devices in a room full of fabric offcuts, plain white tees in every (child) size imaginable and a lady at the back with a sewing machine, poised to make our fashion-design dreams a reality. Sessions like this are mine and Babu’s collective fantasy: big room, all the art materials, no rules, so it was definitely going to be a winner.
We began by making an awesome faux-fur-embellished tee with the fluffiest offcuts we could find, then Babu requested I make her a tutu, tail and foam wand to go with it. It was a pretty strong outfit, although I say so myself, but the best bit was less the end product and more just hanging out together making something on our own… it just felt really wholesome. She eventually got bored and ran off into the adjoining garden to show off her new costume to the friends she’d made during the class, who were almost all her sort of age – a relief since the SLG website recommends these workshops for ages 3-12. Despite that we pretty much stayed for the whole two hours before finishing our day out in Peckham (we’d started with a run around Peckham Levels) with a pizza at Mamma Dough (not as good at Franco Manca but still good and very family-friendly) on Queen’s Road, because I felt like I needed to justify the two-hour round trip to myself, though I think the awesome art session alone was reason enough.
Where and When?: Every Sunday 2-4pm in South London Gallery’s Clore Studio. The gallery can be found at 65-67 Peckham Road and is a 13-minute walk from Peckham Rye Overground/mainline station.
Best Bits: We love a free-flow creative session.
Worst Bits: I guess there could have been a larger selection of materials, although I looked at the site afterwards and it had recommended that you bring some of your own, which we didn’t.
Facilities: Step-free access, buggy space, all materials provided, baby changing.
Would We Come Back?: If we lived in SE15 we’d be there every Sunday. As it is we might as well live on the dark side of the moon, but we’ll still definitely be back.
Babu gets to grips with T-shirt making at Sunday Spot, South London Gallery, Peckham.