Life Through Laundry – Leicester & South Norwood

As part of a commission by Historic England to explore and celebrate our high streets, Granby Street, Leicester was unofficially twinned with South Norwood’s High Street. Life Through Laundry is a tale of two 'towns' through the lens of the local laundrette celebrating the individuals that frequent the high street, the spaces where worlds collide.

What we did

We commissioned artists Kaozara Oyalowo (Leicester) and Jessica Scott (South Norwood) to spend time connecting with communities via local laundrettes and onto the wider high street. Through the project they uncovered the lesser told-stories and hidden histories of each place resulting in beautiful poems by both artists about each place that build up a picture of the local communities.

Poems read by the artists

Listen to audio versions of Jess's Love Song for South Norwood and Kaozara's Kadiri, Wash Day, Barbershop, Restaurant and Charity Shop.


Read our zine featuring poems by Kaozara and Jess and illustrations by Els Christensen.

The results

Delivered 150 zine bundles to each community

including printed zine, project postcards & magnet

Printed 20 limited edition tea- towels

designed by Jess and gifted to all involved

How we engaged with people

Just before entering Granby Street, I like to gaze up. Then I start to walk, this street is humming with colour and people and dialects of language.""

Kaozara Oyalowo - Artist

I quickly realised that there was much more to South Norwood than what meets the eye with a cursory glance. There's treasure to be hold.""

Jessica Scott- Artist

Who was involved?

Life Through Laundry was one of six Twin Towns commissions, part of the four-year-long High Streets Heritage Action Zones’ Cultural Programme, led by Historic England, in partnership with Arts Council.


  • Esther Springett

  • Emily Atkinson

Image gallery