Pictured :An artist’s impression of how the Pillar of the Community will look
HB Reavis, the international workspace provider, and Waterloo-based Morley College London, one of the UK’s leading centres for adult education, have launched a Past, Present and Future of Waterloo art exhibition at Elizabeth House.
The project will transform the colonnade in York Road, underneath the 1960s building, into a public art gallery with displays of imagery, artwork and textiles.
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 John’s 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 window display installed at Elizabeth House, showcasing the work undertaken by textiles and jewellery students at the college.
The collaboration with Morley College 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, which was previously in Lower Marsh, as well as the expansion of other independent Waterloo-based enterprises: the Garden Shack, which specialises in selling indoor and outdoor plants, and a local coffee shop, Four Corners.
In addition it welcomes LLS Café, which offers healthy and ethically produced deli-style food, hand-made doughnut specialist Crosstown Doughnuts, and Pancs, which provides sweet and savoury handcrafted pancake-wraps.
Sara Robertson-Jonas, head of school for visual and digital arts at Morley College London, said: “Morley College London is delighted to partner with HB Reavis and have this opportunity to engage with the local neighbourhood and showcase the creativity of our students.
We look forward to injecting new life into Elizabeth House through our partnership and bringing the work of our students to wider audiences.”
HB Reavis purchased Elizabeth House in May 2017. It has since appointed Stirling Prize-winning architects Allford Hall Monaghan Morris as design partner to bring forward fresh proposals for the site which 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 late 2019.