East Londoners are being asked to harness their imagination, roll up their sleeves and get making with ELMO, a roving pop-up artists’ studio and workshop programme which launches in August and will spend one year travelling throughout east London.

ELMO, also known as the East London Mobile Workshop, has been commissioned by London Legacy Development Corporation as part of its strategy for leaving a cultural legacy from the 2012 Games co-funded by Arts Council England’s Grants for the arts programme, which uses public funding from the National Lottery to support projects that engage people in the arts ELMO is being delivered by curator Fiona Boundy with local architects Studio Weave, recent winners of three RIBA awards, and artist collectives Nous Vous and Hunt and Gather.

The project will see some of the very best artists, designers and makers in east London working with residents in parks and other public locations from an ex-library bus that has beenbeautifully transformed into a functional workshop inspired by an artists’ studio.

The free to attend workshops will provide opportunities to make new things, learn practical skills and explore their imagination through a range of crafts from printing to ceramics and soap making.

Alongside the programme of drop-in workshops will be four larger showcase events with more artists and an extravaganza of activities including illustration, mural painting, drama, music and song. The first of these seasonal events launches the project on 3rd and 4th August 11am – 4pm at the award winning William Morris Gallery and Lloyd Park with a huge range of family friendly activities inspired by east London’s arts and crafts heritage.

These include Artist Kathryn Martin giving participants the chance to use the power of the sun to create art using a 19th century process, cake decorating with Jody Nichol, William Morris inspired face painting for young and old by illustrator Takayo Akiyama and a play from the Brighton Mummers with music, singing, dancing plus plenty of hobby horses….

The first workshops at William Morris Gallery, Lloyd Park, in August will focus on print making and gives people the chance to work with some of the most innovative, exciting and innovative printmakers, bookbinders and risograph experts working in London today. Participants can have their say in print by promoting a gig with a poster, thank someone with a card or produce a banner. A selection of material produced during the workshops will be exhibited on a billboard in Wood Street, Walthamstow

From September to October there are opportunities to explore the exciting possibilities of 8mm filmmaking. At the core of the project is the belief that anybody can create works which truly reflect the many voices and groups that make up a local community. Drop in activities will be programmed in around the project to enable participants’ family members to get involved and generate some work themselves.. A digital and analogue piece of work will be produced at the end of the project, made up of fragments of films and sound recordings made by participants either as short experiments or as final finished pieces of work.

Dennis Hone, Chief Executive of London Legacy Development Corporation, said:

“This is a superb project that gives east Londoners access to leading artists and I’m sure it will fuel the imagination of many. It is our vision for east London to be a thriving cultural district and the mobile workshop is just one part of these ambitious plans.”

Moira Sinclair, Executive Director, London and South East, Arts Council England, said:

“This is an exciting Grants for the arts project that builds on the momentum created by the Cultural Olympiad by bringing arts and culture into the community surrounding the Olympic Park, giving a broad range of people a fantastic opportunity to engage with and enjoy a wide range of creative arts activities. The ELMO team will also mentor young people, working to inspire and empower them whilst also highlighting the opportunity for participants to pursue a career in the creative sector.”

Workshop dates:

Printing workshops with printmaker and illustrator Kate Gibb, London Centre of Book Arts and Hato Press printing and publishing house, 11am–5pm each day

William Morris Gallery, Lloyd Park, Forest Road, Walthamstow, London E17 4PP:

  • Sunday 4th August – London Centre for Book Arts (LCBA)
  • Wednesday 7th August – Kate Gibb
  • Thursday 8th August – LCBA
  • Friday 9th August – Kate Gibb
  • Saturday 10th August – LCBA
  • Sunday 11th August Kate Gibb
  • Wednesday 14th August Kate Gibb
  • Thursday 15th August LCBA
  • Friday 16th August Kate Gibb
  • Saturday 17th August Hato Press

Film workshop with no.w.here, a Tower Hamlets based artist organization (September through to October) Mile End Park, adjacent to Ragged School and Matt’s Gallery:

  • Thursday 12th September
  • Friday 13th September
  • Saturday 14th September
  • Friday 20th September
  • Sunday 21st September
  • Thursday 10th October
  • Friday 11th October
  • Thursday 17th October
  • Thursday 24th October