Marsha Phoenix Memorial Trust
Empowering young homeless women

Making Things Happen: Sybil Phoenix in Lewisham, 1985

Everything Sybil Phoenix does is about giving local youth a voice, and in 1985 she gave many young people in Brockley a place to explore the arts and express themselves with music, photography and drama when she began The Marsha Phoenix Arts Project here at MPMT. The Garden Studio became the hub of a year of activities, opened by the then Mayor, Margaret Sandra, and Lady Pitt. Visual artist Geraldine Walsh was one of several young people who began working on the team with Sybil at the MPMT Arts Project, teaching photography, sculpture and painting to residents and other local young people. In the process she documented a lot of the activity at MPMT and elsewhere in Sybil’s orbit for a decade. This year, Geraldine and her former Arts Project colleague Lucia Tambini revisited Geraldine’s archive of photos from that time, and with Woodrow Phoenix’s help they have curated an exhibition of selected images, called Making Things Happen: a title that describes what a positive force for change Sybil Phoenix is.

We are very pleased to note that this exhibition opens at the Lewisham Hub, inside the Riverdale Centre on Wednesday 22 June, and will run until Friday 15 July. It will then tour through Lewisham’s libraries during the summer. Most of the images in this exhibition have not been seen in 30 years, and it’s a fascinating view of some very different times in Lewisham. It’s free, so do take a look if you can! The Lewisham Hub is open from 11am until 5.30pm, Wednesdays to Saturdays.

There is an 8-page exhibition booklet with photos and text about Making Things Happen. If you can't make it to the exhibition space, you can click MTH-bookletSM.pdf to download the PDF version.