E17 Art Trail – the first weekend
The E17 Art Trail got off to a flying start on Thursday with private views all over town.
On Friday afternoon I popped over to the information hub where Bronwyn, my wife, was at the Art Trail Info hub spreading the word with Artist John Bird.
On Friday there was a launch party at Vestry House Museum. It was a lovely evening, and all the artists showing there took part in this group photo. From left to right: Roger, Anthony, Scarlett, Leanne, Daisy, Carl, Julia, Jason and Lorraine.
Saturday afternoon and it was off to the library for the artist talks.
Jay put the final stitch in place on her ‘Knit-a-Year’ project at the beginning of her talk. Jay knitted using yarns that were donated, free-cycled or whatever else she could think of. You can find out more about her project on her blog.
Ron is very enthusiastic water colour painter and also dedicates his time to encouraging and teaching other other people to paint too.
I am a big fan of Katherine’s work and actually met her when she did a talk at last years Art Trail. If this isn’t a great example of the E17 Art Trail bringing people together I don’t know what is!
It was also really special to have this community based project shown and discussed in the same neighbourhood it was made.
As some readers of my blog & website will know, I’m a big supporter of voluntary projects. They are a great way to make a contribution to our community and make new friends. If you’d like to get involved contact Voluntary Action Waltham Forest or of course you could help out on next year’s E17 Art Trail!
Several of the volunteers portrayed were at the talk and discussed their perspective on the images and project. The work I had displayed was the Waltham Forest Inter-Faith Pilgrimage. You can see a short 4 minute PhotoFilm about it here.
Other work from the project by Katherine and I can be seen in the AV room at the Central Library and the Credit Union on Church Hill.
Amanda Doidge‘s work ‘Socrates’ is conceptually fascinating and a technical achievement of a very high standard. Not only did we discuss her work but for a few minutes also Greek Philosophy – a real treat.
Eliana’s enthusiasm for her beautiful colour paintings shone through during her talk – part of which took place in one of the library’s computer rooms. It was interesting to watch people stop whatever they were doing and for a few minutes join the audience.
Tayaba has only moved to the UK recently and talked about her inspirations from both Pakistan and the UK.
I’ve met Tayaba and her husband Gulfam through the Art Trail. They have been very involved this year as both participants and volunteers.
The second exhibition both Katherine Green and I are involved with is the Image17 exhibition at Chestnuts House on Hoe Street.
Together with 12 other photographers, we have been commissioned by Waltham Forest Council to photograph & celebrate 48 community sports teams & groups. The show is called ‘Taking Part’ and is inspired by the Olympic ideal that it is more important to take part than to win.
This is a really exciting project, and it’s great that Waltham Forest, as one of the Olympic Boroughs, is supporting something like this in the lead up to 2012.
Something that was lovely on Saturday’s private view was having some of the people in the photos there as our guests. This is Kai and David with their portrait.
David’s family came along too and for me, this really made the whole event extra special. I need to give a big thank you to Kai and David’s parents – and all the other parents and participants at the Multi-Sports Summer School. They trusted me to take photos all day and were happy to sign model release forms and give me permission to use the images for this project.
Another big thank-you to the organisers – Waltham Forest Sports Development Team and the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation for allowing me to photograph the event.
The whole Image17 crew, from left to right: Udall, Matt, Dan, Paula, Katherine, Joe, Fabien, Matt, Simon, Claire, Mark and Nicola.
Although I’m part of this exhibition – and obviously somewhat biased – I’d recommend going and seeing the show. There are some exceptional photographs and they have all been taken in our local community.
The Tokarska Gallery is exhibiting a varied and very strong collection of work by a group of different artists. While I was there taking photos on Sunday morning there was a steady stream of people coming in and enjoying the work – despite journeys made to get there in heavy rain. This is another ‘highly recommended’ to go and see.
Just a few doors down from Tokarska Gallery is Ms Wanda who has set up her own ethical fashion Pop Up shop. This in itself is quite an achievement as getting the space required detailed negotiations with the landlord and council. It was well worth the effort and please go and say ‘hello’ if you’re near Forest Road this week.
In the same ‘hood are ‘Ham Sandwich’ AKA Has and Mandi who turn their house into an Art Gallery every trail. We got a warm welcome when we popped by and their show is a fantastic example of improvising an exhibition space.
Our final stop on Sunday afternoon was at Sarah Nicolls house where she organsied a concert in her front room. Forty people crammed themselves into her house, were given Gin & Tonics and were then treated to an eclectic set of music of the highest standard. Jazz band ‘Tribunal’ did two sets and I was transfixed by Mark Holub’s amazing drumming. In the first set Luke Barlow played the sax, and in the second played the piano – quite amazing talents and standards of musicianship.
In her introduction, Sarah alluded to the fact Lucy is quite well known. This was something of an understatement. She is a professor of Baroque Violin at the Royal College of Music and a member of the world renowned Fitzwilliam String Quartet. Her playing was extraordinary – at times it sounded like there were two violins being played not one.
Sarah, again modestly, omitted to tell us some of her biography – she is a leading contemporary and experimental pianist and you can learn more about her on her website.
Sarah has created an ‘inside-out’ piano which she played using the keyboard – and also by tapping, bending, scraping and scratching the piano cords which – on the ‘inside-out’ piano are hung directly above the keyboard. Amazing!
On Monday afternoon I was invited to speak about the E17 Art Trail and the Voluntary Action & Image17 projects on Waltham Forest’s very own Street Life Radio.
Street Life can be heard online – but also between 5th and 30th September it can be heard by tuning your radio to 87.8FM.
I was interviewed by Zawdie and we got a chance to discuss all things Art Trail.
I really enjoyed the whole experience. While I was on-air Bronwyn was tweeting the different Art Trail venues or artists as I mentioned them. I had my phone in front of me so could watch everyone responding to the show and the mentions!
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