The Nomadic Community Garden has been an eclectic force of nature in the short time it has existed. From a barren wasteground of nothingness next to the railway line in an unappealing part of town. It has transformed itself into a remarkable self-sustaining urban space.
Graffestival from the street art agency ‘End of the Line‘ was a final hurrah to an area which they’ve championed for the past six years. Packed with makeshift structures, street art and sculpture. The garden is also full of plantlife and greenery. Nature has taken hold over the years. Encouraged alongside the reclaimed shacks, it is a balance which has shown just how a previously unappealing piece of land can be transformed.
The Nomadic Community Garden
Now the developers are taking back control. The space has, after all, only ever been on loan. An experiment initially. The space originally focused on using the land by placing within it raised allotment beds for the local community to tend. It evolved from there to become an area where creatives would find refuge. The space soon gained a reputation as being a safe, friendly spot to visit and relax away from the bustle of the nearby East End streets.
We’ve covered the evolution of the Nomadic Community Garden over the past 6 years. Mainly through the eyes of the ‘Meeting of Styles‘ festival which first used the space in 2014 as part of the areas first mural festival. From 2015-2018 the gardens became ever more central to that event. The big wall which overlooks the garden soon becoming the central feature. This year, it was the Graffestival which took centre stage, attracting artists and musicians for a final hurrah.
In the time since the Nomadic Community Garden has been in existence, the area around has seen huge changes. Buildings have shot up in Shoreditch with the area around nearby Sclater Street in particular completely transformed. Brick Lane itself has also become ever more of a destination as the city encroaches with artists and others finding it harder than ever to afford to live and work there.
Whatever the development on the footprint of the garden will be, it will change the area even more. Perhaps that’s inevitable given it’s prime location in one of London’s ‘trendiest’ hubs. It’s worth reflecting however that the reason the area is so sought after is because places such as the Nomadic Community Garden existed in the first place. Bringing energy and a dynamism to an area which was once forgotten. Where it once languished, unloved, behind a fence filled with scrub.
Graffestival took place on the weekend of 21-22 September 2019 at the Nomadic Community Garden near to Brick Lane. It was organised by the street art agency ‘End of the Line’. All photos in this post were taken over the period of the festival. For another article of the work of End of the Line have a look here.