4 November 2014 | Volunteering | Back to Blog

The Canvas:

By Margriet Schuring

How do you get people to tell you how they really feel about something? Give them a pen and a canvas and you’ll be amazed!

The Canvas: is a new café and creative venue in Shoreditch where you can write on the walls which are blank for your thoughts, ideas, secrets and stories. What’s your favourite book? Tell us about tattoos? What’s your happy place? – Add your ideas and become part of a piece of live art!

The Canvas: is an initiative of actress and creative entrepreneur Ruth Rogers, who founded Body Gossip, a positive body image charity, in 2006. A few years ago she took her white IKEA sofa to festivals like The Edinburgh Fringe and invited people to write on the sofa how they really feel about their body. She was blown away by the passion and honesty of people’s words and has now taken this concept to The Canvas:

marge sanding staircase

before and after









A few of us Dot Dot Dot volunteers have been involved in getting the space ready for opening. We went from shouting red walls and a blue shop front to stunning white walls with a hint of Canvas yellow and lots of warm wood. I trained in interior design and helped with the concept, planning, visualising, sourcing and ‘hands-on’ work like sanding and painting. It is great to be part of this team and we are doing more beautifying in the next few months!

The Canvas: serves amazing drinks and home-made food and is a great spot for meeting friends or getting some work done. A full program of events and workshops will soon be available with a focus on helping people to fulfil their potential in life and build up self-esteem. In 2015 The Canvas: will open a theatre space too.

You can find the Canvas at 42 Hanbury Street in E1.

writings on the wall