Growing Stories
'Growing Stories' explores how we interact with different spaces – urban and green, private and public – through the act of planting. The project investigates our connections with the local area, our understanding of public space, and how the anonymity of the city may be pierced with personal, green interventions.

Growing Stories began with a small action, and now works with housing estates, schools, gardens and fetes – among others!

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Growing Stories as an 'action':
Participants are invited to enter a space for conversation and exchange with artist Kamala Katbamna, and to swap their tales of urban living for a patch of green.

Kamala works with each participant to create an urban story and write it onto a scrap of newspaper. She then turns the newspaper – old news interlaced with new - into biodegradable pots ready to be planted directly into the soil. Each participant then selects and pots up his or her own seed or cutting to take away.

Everyone who participates is asked to plant their pot – and thus their story - in a spot of their choosing. In the act of planting and caring for their cutting, participants are invited to introduce a green influence into the urban grey, and to put down some emotional as well as physical roots in this transitory city of ours. They are also invited to reconsider our interaction with the public sphere, by planting their own, personal stories in its realm.

'Growing Stories' began at 'Tea and Make' in August 2009. It has since visited locations from Abbey Wood to Bethnal Green and Woolwich, and from Brixton Village Market to the Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre. 'Growing Stories' recently visited Tate's Community Garden to celebrate the first open day of 2011.

Cuttings for the workshop at Tea and Make were kindly provided by Roots and Shoots in Lambeth; you can visit their website at The Abbey Wood and Oaklands workshops were in collaboration with Avant Gardening. Their website is available here: Further information about Studio at the Elephant in the Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre is available here: Tate's Community Garden can be found here:

You can find out more about the wonderful 'Tea and Make' – including their future events - on their website at
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