Selim - Photography by Jeff Adams


Urban Oasis

Salim’s Story

Remarkable people from all walks of life collide and coexist as a community in the Nomadic gardens at the heart of Shoreditch, near Brick Lane.  Today, in the shade of a rustic, exotically decorated workshop, amidst the many vibrant gardens of flowers food and art, a gentleman sits smoking a rollup.  He squints into the bright spring sunshine, listening to traditional Turkish music. I extend a greeting to him, complimenting his place and he smiles warmly and offers me a chair. I sit down and we chat - for some time. We are interrupted frequently by his friends and colleagues, some calling in to say ‘Hi’ whilst others join the conversation. I soon learn that  Richard Sleeman or ‘Selim’ to friends is a skilled artisan. He combines lifetime of experience of construction and materials to create costumes and props for the London Carnivals and Arts of Carnival workshops. His foremost creation in London is the Sarastro restaurant (check it).  The workshop which he built himself, is a community hub for meeting, constructing and relaxing.

Before departing he tells me to call in any time and invites me to take a look around his workshop. Many Thanks Richard. Hope to meet you again

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