“Official” opening of Conway Rec learning circle mosaic – 20th November 2022

In June, after two years of worry and unavoidable delay, professional mosaic artist Tamara Froud was finally able to design, construct and install the mosaic circle that now graces the grassy slopes of this little green space.

The project began when some of the volunteers who work with the Friends of Conway Rec spotted an installation by Tamara on the banks of the River Thames near Putney. The idea of a similar work with a practical function emerged. Fortunately, two volunteers were mosaic experts who knew Tamara and were confident she could create artwork representing the animal and plant life found at Conway Rec.

A mosaic ‘learning circle’ was envisaged as a point from which local pupils could start to explore their environment and learn about the range of nature they might find on a walk. Tamara met teachers and pupils at our local primary school and showed them how mosaic artworks are designed, built and installed. Children were encouraged to submit their own drawings and paintings of lifeforms seen in Conway Rec.

At the Friends of Conway Rec voluntary group we added our knowledge of the local environment and, with the support of colleagues, Tamara completed the artwork that is now an impressive local landmark.

To celebrate this community achievement, we held an opening ceremony last month. Local volunteers and friends were supported by representatives of St Monica’s School, Enfield Council’s parks team and local councillors. Artist Tamara attended with her family and said a few words about the work. Headteacher Kate Baptise – helped by parents and pupils – cut the ribbon, and the crowd retired to Conway Tennis Club for a glass of sparkle and some nibbles! The sun shone and the occasion was a fitting tribute to the completion of a remarkable project.

Funding the mosaic has been a challenge. A grant from the council helped us to cover the costs of building the base and protective edging and parents from St Monica’s contributed to the design, materials and installation. However, the Friends of Conway Rec have no regular source of income and the total sum has made a big dent in our reserves. If you’d like to contribute – or just learn more about our activities and future plans – do email us via friendsofconwayrec@gmail.com.

The text of this article appeared in the Enfield Dispatch on 5th December, 2022 – https://enfielddispatch.co.uk/parks-mosaic-comes-full-circle/. The mosaic has also been covered in the Palmers Green Community newsletter.