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Creative Cafe: The Transformation

Posted on May 4, 2015 by in Blog, Creative Cafe | 0 comments

Now that the Creative Café has been up and running for a month, we thought we’d take some time out to reflect on the journey so far and the work involved in transforming a space for our pop-up project.

In March 2015 it was finalised with the London borough of Barking & Dagenham that we would be setting up the Marks Gate Creative Café from the Community Centre on the estate, we had been given a space in the centre’s lobby to magically transform into a pop-up café, gallery and creative workspace. This is what the space looked like before:

Marks Gate Community Centre Lobby

Books and shelves were removed and moved into the library on site, as were the PC’s to make room for our pop-up project. We brought in 5 tables and 16 second chairs to upcycle and paint up to fit our new space.  We were also given a lectern to turn into our counter.

Marks Gate Community Centre Lobby with furniture


We began the transformation process on 11th March, and over the course of 3 intensive weeks a number of Marks Gate residents got involved to help us with the transformation.

We added some colour to the space by painting the furniture:

Wallpapering the bland walls, what a difference it’s made, can you tell that Assistant Artist Carla Ferrari loves our new walls?

Wall love at the  Creative Cafe

We upholstered the chairs with a variety of fabrics, some purchased lovingly by artist Sadia Ur-Rehman, some donated by local residents Jeannette Scipio and Coby Stewart.

Our new gallery wall…..

Our Marks Gate Memories Wall, we will be changing our question each month to capture new memories, experiences and stories of the area.

Marks Gate Memories Board

We heart our new chalk board, this will be used to present a random fact or quote linked to our workshop of the day:

And last but not least the beginnings of our Pom Pom Chandelier, and after our first full day of opening:

Creative Cafe Pom Pom Chandelier Before & AfterWe launched the project on 1st April with a fantastic opening with over 60 people attending and have been open every Tuesday and Friday since for just over a month hosting a varied programme of creative workshops and activities delivered by the Creative Cafe team, guest national artists and local creatives from the Marks Gate Arts Collective , to keep in touch with all of our future activities please visit our events page here. The Creative Cafe will be open till the end of August for all to enjoy, so pop in and get creative with us!


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