Welcome to the webpage for the ‘Tuesdays at Dalston Curve Garden’ group and exhibition.
On this page you will find:
- Information about the Tuesday Group,
- Information about the ‘Tuesdays at Dalston Curve Garden’ exhibition,
- Information about how you can join the Tuesday group,
- Addresses for the businesses, organisations and venues that are participating in the exhibition, so you can follow the trail of portraits along Dalston Lane,
- An evolving archive of material, including photographs, artworks and writing by members of the Tuesday group. This archive will be added to and continue to grow in the coming weeks.
About the Tuesday Group
The Tuesday group is for people who are aged over 50. Its primary purpose is to provide space for people who may feel socially isolated, to gather together in the green surroundings of Dalston Curve Garden.
The group meets at the Garden every Tuesday 11am-1.30pm. We serve free tea and coffee and a hot freshly cooked lunch.
We offer a programme of creative activities, lead by artist Laura Halliwell and supported by freelance artists and regular volunteers. Members of the group have previously embroidered celebration bunting to hang in the Garden, created botanical cyanotypes, collaged birdfeeders to be enjoyed by the Garden’s resident birds and made DIY zines. They have even performed their own poetry in the Garden, developed in workshops with Adisa the Poet. Artworks created by the group’s members are regularly displayed in the Garden’s Rainbow Greenhouse.
Attending the Tuesday group is free. We do however welcome donations but there is absolutely no pressure to make one.
Members of the group regularly talk about its importance to them, with one person saying:
“The Garden has been a healing place for me and this group has helped me find myself after the lockdown”
Another describes it as:
“Like a pill that sets me up for the rest of the week”.
In the Spring, Summer and Autumn months the group sit outside in the Garden, while it remains closed to the general public. During the colder winter months it meets inside Farrs pub which is located right next to the Garden. In winter this means that there is a maximum number of people who can comfortably fit in.
Entrance to the pub is from the Garden and is fully accessible to all, including people using wheelchairs.
Marie Murray, Director of the Garden explains:
“Tuesdays at the Garden started in response to a terrible time for so many people, but the silver lining has been that this amazing group has emerged from it! In the beginning, the only thing we knew that these individuals had in common was that they were all aged over 50 and that many of them lived alone. Since then the group have shared laughter, tears and joy, good moods and bad moods, and life stories. Now over 100 people regularly come together on Tuesdays, all year round, to experience the tranquility of the Garden, to take part in creative activities, to enjoy nutritious food freshly cooked by us, and most of all to build friendships.”
The Garden currently receives no funding to support the Tuesday sessions.
About the ‘Tuesdays at Dalston Curve Garden’ exhibition
The ‘Tuesdays at Dalston Curve Garden’ exhibition has been supported by the Hackney High Street Fund and will be in place until the end of March.
The portraits are by photographers Sandra Keating and Erola Arcalís who have both been involved in documenting the Tuesday group.
We asked members of the group about how they feel about seeing their portraits displayed on Dalston Lane One member said
“I’m just going to give you three words, I AM VISIBLE”
and another said,
“I’ve lived here since 1976, my picture says I am a citizen of Hackney”
The exhibition has been designed by Brian Cumming and curated by Marie Murray and Nell Perrott from Dalston Curve Garden, in consultation with the members of the group.
How to join the Tuesday group
The Tuesday group welcomes anyone aged over 50. At times when our numbers are particularly high, and we have limit the numbers, we give priority to Hackney residents and to people who are particularly socially isolated.
Normally you do not need to register in advance to come along on Tuesdays but as we are pretty much at full capacity right now, if you or anyone you know would like to join please email firstname.lastname@example.org so we can arrange for you to come along.
We require all new members of the Tuesday group to fill in a simple registration form which we will complete with you when you attend for the first time.
Dalston Lane trail of portraits – participating venues
Venues who so far are displaying Tuesday portraits include:
- Co-op, Dalston Square, E8 3FT
- Dalston CLR James Library, Dalston Square, E8 3BQ
- Farrs Pub 17, 19 Dalston Lane, E8 3DF
- Hackney CVS, The Adiaha Antigha Centre, 24-30 Dalston Lane, E8 3AZ
Marie Murray, Director of the Garden explains the importance of the Dalston Lane trail element of the exhibition:
“It has been a tough couple of years for so many of our neighbouring businesses and organisations. As well as showcasing members of the Tuesday group, one of the aims of our exhibition is to help strengthen the connections within this special community on Dalston Lane, that we love being part of.”
We are so grateful to our closest neighbour, Farrs Pub, who play a particularly vital role supporting the Tuesday Group. Manager Tim Field says:
“We are so happy to be able to work with the Curve Garden and offer this group of older Hackney residents the exclusive use of our warm space during the winter months. It means that whatever the weather, they can still enjoy gathering together and having a laugh every week.”
We would love you to spread the word about ‘Tuesdays at Dalston Curve Garden’ on social media by using the hashtag #tuesdaypeople and tagging the Garden on Twitter @EasternCurve or Instagram @dalstongarden