Bow Arts is delighted to announce they have received a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant for their community driven project Raw Materials. Thanks to National Lottery players, the project will explore the industrial heritage of the ‘raw material’ wood through the River Lea, which runs through the heart of east London and right by Bow Arts’ Nunnery Gallery.

Telling the stories of the areas that line the riverbanks – including Hackney Wick, Walthamstow and the now iconic Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park – Raw Materials will create a legacy for east London’s industrial history, including a map, walking and river tours and an exhibition of unearthed objects in the Nunnery Gallery in Spring 2017.

Foundation for FutureLondon, the charity created to help realise the ambitions for the cultural and education district in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, are also supporting the project through a grant that will ensure the digital legacy of the project for generations to come. The project has also had tremendous local support, including the Victoria and Albert museum – who will be joining the Cultural and Education District in 2021 – The Geffrye Museum, Stratford’s Building and Crafts College and local boroughs’ archive collections, including Tower Hamlets, Newham, Hackney and Haringey.

Educational arts charity Bow Arts has been working with the east London community and supporting artists through affordable workspace since 1995. The Nunnery Gallery is their not-for-profit, free and public space, presenting a programme of east London and heritage driven events and exhibitions. This grant support, together with expertise from project partners, will enable their most ambitious and far-reaching heritage driven exhibition to date. Press Release: 2 September 2016

Raw Materials will work directly with the community through a steering group who will lead the project’s research, while students from Stratford’s Buildings and Crafts College will incorporate the project’s research into their furniture making course. There will also be an exciting programme of events, workshops and area tours, providing multiple opportunities for communities old and new to engage with an important part of London’s heritage.

Commenting on the award, Sophie Hill, Nunnery Gallery Director, said:

“We are thrilled to be awarded this grant. Part of the Nunnery Gallery’s mission is to explore east London’s heritage through engagement with our local audience. This project is an invaluable opportunity to marry the extensive redevelopment that came with London 2012 to east London’s rich and important past, ensuring new and old communities share in the history that shaped this iconic area. We’re incredibly grateful to HLF, FFL and all our project partners for supporting the project”.