Tooting Common is the latest London space to get special treatment from those clever people at UP Projects. Last Saturday, artist Jacques Nimki launched Common Knowledge, a new art project encouraging visitors to the common to explore the space in a slightly different way.
Nimki has been working with local resident groups and the Council’s Parks and Heritage teams, as well as walking, mapping and researching the area and collecting local stories himself since May 2012. The resulting installations were revealed at the weekend: a series of printed panels and signs around the Common offering alternative perspectives of how we see and engage with this green space. Some signs will remain in place throughout the year; others will change with the seasons.
Alongside the installation, Nimki has been working with a group of local young people, so-called “Guardians of the Common Knowledge,” or GOCKs, who have been recording the stories and experiences of visitors to the Common, as well as learning more about Tooting Common's natural and social heritage. Like modern-day Wombles, these GOCKs are proving useful; as well as producing a printed map of the project, and a programme of workshops, events, and Common tours, they've also created an app called called "Lost in Tooting" to help you discover some of the secrets of this special place. How very 2012.
Visit upprojects.com/secretgarden/projects to find out more. The map is available from Tooting and Balham Libraries. The app is available on iPhones and android phones. The panels, signs and maps will be in place until October 2013.