Jenny Adams - Resident artwork commissioned

23 May 2024

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Jenny Adams has been commissioned to make a site-specific artwork for the hoardings on Blackfriars Road and Nicholson Street as part of Tenderground – an arts strategy and commissioning programme for the almshouses of Southwark Charities.

Jenny’s large-scale drawings are enlarged from her many sketchbooks documenting her daily life living in Edward Edwards House, the almshouse behind these hoardings. Designed in collaboration with graphic designer Charlie Noon, the images record the often overlooked details of our immediate environment – of plants, the stages of decaying fruit, roadworks happening outside her window or flowers picked in the garden and left on her windowsill by a neighbour. At the same time this hoarding celebrates the residents and marks the next phase for Edward Edwards House, a new building for a world class almshouse.

Jenny Adams was born in 1932. She attended Central Art School from 1950–54 and worked as a commercial artist for John Lewis & Partners and as an illustrator and designer. Jenny, now in her early 90’s, sketches every day. She was a resident of Edward Edwards House on Nicholson Street and currently lives at Hopton’s Almshouse.

This hoarding installation is the first public commission from Tenderground and aims to embed art and culture into the daily life of its almshouses and their residents.

The programme is directed by Laura Wilson and Clare Cumberlidge & Co and supported by Southwark Charities. They said:

“We are thrilled to be working with artists and the residents of the almshouses to deliver world class art to Southwark. We are lucky to have an artist as inspirational as Jenny Adams amongst the residents and are proud to launch the programme with her work.”

Southwark Charities has occupied the site on Blackfriars Road, SE1 since 1752, at which time it was used by Mr Boyfield’s Dye-House to dry cloth. Following this, for more than 250 years it has been home to Edward Edwards House, an almshouse for the people of Southwark.

It is now part of a major development of a new world class almshouse and office building to provide more long-term affordable housing for older people.

Caroline Croft, Southwark Charities Chair of Trustees said:

“I am delighted that our charity has embarked upon an art strategy that is so ambitious and creative. Tenderground is already showing that high-quality art can make a positive difference to the lives of our beneficiaries and the wider community. I’m so excited by the programme and what is to come.”

Quote from Jenny Adams: “My first experience with Art was a jumble of nothingness. Then the colours hit me in my eyes, now I get the joy of smelling, touching and tasting, through Art. Everything is a beauty. Art has been and still is my life.”