The Enchanted Story Garden
In March 2017 Better, Discover Children’s Story Centre, and Royal Borough of Greenwich were awarded the Arts Council England Libraries Opportunities for Everyone Innovation Fund to deliver a project titled Story Book Play. This project includes the present purpose-built space at the Eltham Centre in which children can play imaginatively with a literary theme, as well as a series of interactive story events for 0-8 year olds and their parents and carers at Eltham Library.
Discover approached Graham Carter to partner in developing the concept and visuals of The Enchanted Story Garden.
The Enchanted Story Garden
The concept was created by Discover, The Enchanted Story Garden was inspired by the work of local author E. Nesbit including The Railway Children, The Enchanted Castle, Five Children and It, and the Story of The Treasure Seekers. There are four main interactive story spaces in the Garden to explore: The Magic Carpet, Village, Enchanted Castle and Secret Forest. Find the Gardener, Ladybird and Wizard in the Garden. How many animals can you spot along the way? Have an ice cream in the village, walk along the crocodile bridge, make up a story for the stage. Use this space to read, explore, and create stories!
Graham Carter is one of the most intricate and exciting printmakers in the UK. He has been working at the forefront of the printmaking industry for over 15 years. He has also worked with Animation Studio TickTockRobot working on commercial animation projects.
His work is influenced largely by nature, and the secrets of the animal kingdom, however he is equally drawn to the man-made, clunky technology of yesteryear. You may find the occasional clockwork or steam-powered gadget lurking in the bowels of his images if you look close enough – he likes to think this is what makes the animals tick!).
Graham’s first book Alphamals – based on his animal prints – has been shortlisted on The North Somerset Children’s book award for Poetry Books and his very first picture book, Otto Blotter Bird Spotter is being published by Andersen Press in 2019. Several scenes and text from Otto are featured around The Enchanted Story Garden.
Discover is the UK’s first Story Centre based in Stratford, East London for children aged 0-11 and their families. Discover aims to engage with children in the local community and establish a love of language, literature and stories in this new project at the Eltham Centre.
Discover has previously won a Museums and Heritage Award for Excellence and was shortlisted for a new International Children’s Museum award. Time Out voted Discover one of London’s top five family days out, most-loved local Culture spot in Stratford in 2018, and named their bookshop as one of the top five children’s bookshops in London.
Graham’s designs were transformed from flat plans into a three dimensional play space by Meticulous Ltd.
Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. They support activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Specifically, the Libraries Opportunities for Everyone Innovation Fund aims to help libraries build a fairer society and deliver opportunities for disadvantaged communities across the country.
Better is dedicated to making community services and spaces better for everyone. As a charitable social enterprise, Better work for the benefit of everyone: the public, the communities they work in, the environment, their staff and partners. Better are proud to be the current holders of the UK Business Award for Social Enterprise.