E17 Art Trail Exhibition. Wander to Wonder.

June 2019 – Walthamstow.

Around a year ago I discussed the idea of exhibiting some of my photography as part of the  biannual e17 Art Trail, which was due to happen in June 2019. I approached my local cafe at the time but they already had an artist lined up. I learned at this point that venues for the art trail are booked two years in advance. It is a very popular time.

I next approached Tony who owns the Walthamstow Cycles bike shop, and discussed the idea of displaying some photos of Epping Forest in the shop. Tony introduced me to the forest a few years back and I have bought both my bikes from him. Not that I use them anymore. Lazy or time poor. I am going with lazy.

Tony was very keen on the idea, and we both let it lie for ages. Around the start of March we had to do a few administrative things, and I had to get an advert written for the trail guide. I then let it lie again until May when I had a holy crap moment as I realised I had to print and frame a whole load of photos, then hang then. By the end of the month.

The art trail has been running for a number of years now and is hugely popular. There were around 250 exhibitors in a number of venues all over the borough, there were a couple of really good photography exhibitions so I was in quite good company! The theme this year was ‘Wonder’.

There were a couple of tense weeks as I trolled through hundreds of images of the forest to try and come up with a theme. I also had to decide on a number of images I could print and frame without breaking the bank. I chose to use some cheap A4 size frames from Ikea as well as use a couple of the large frames I had in the exhibition last year. I would have loved to have used all the frames, but printing 11 images at A1 is not cheap, and these were to displayed in a working bike shop, large sheets of glass hanging on walls was not going to be practical.

I chose the seasons as a theme and displayed three or four images of each season round the various walls. Each season also represented a different location in the forest. There are some may interesting places in the forest, often with their own unique micro-environment.

The photos I displayed are below.

I hung the photos two days before the Art Trail started on a Saturday though we did not have the opening until the following Thursday. The basement of the shop was not this tidy and organised when I started.

The opening went well, a few people turned up and I hung around drinking beer with some of the attendees and the bike shop guys until about 9:00. I had some good feedback and very much enjoyed myself.

I must go and pick the photos up now, the Art Trail finished in June and it is now August ! The displayed images are below. The top image in each section was printed as a 4″ * 5″ along with a brief introduction to the prints.

Spring

Summer

Autumn

Winter.

E17 Art trail

The annual E17 art trail has been going since 2005 and has been growing each year with this the tenth anniversary being the biggest yet. This year it ran over three weeks from the beginning of June with over one hundred and sixty locations showing art, holding performances or learning experiences. All by local artists, fabulous !

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For those who do not know what E17 is, it is the postcode for an area in north east London, around the suburb of Walthamstow, where I mostly live – and one the many good reasons to live in the area!

I was not able to, nor to be fair, interested in going to every event that was included in the program, but El and I did manage to squeeze a fair few of them in and I took a few photos as we went. June was a bit of a mad busy month for some reason – SUMMER I guess, so here is a quick summary of the things I liked best.

There was a huge range of exhibits from the large mural by Stu Lee on the side of a house down by Blackhorse Rd tube station – which was my favourite single piece from the trail, I guess with my love of street art, there are few surprises there.

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To the small knitted figures from the Howard Rd garden.

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Unsurprisingly my focus was primarily on looking for photographic based exhibitions and the two I enjoyed the most had photography as the key visual element, though the stories behind the photos were the more important aspect. I didn’t get photos from the first.

The Ex-Warner Project is a photographic and oral history project recording the stories and histories of the people who live in the old Warner houses near Lloyd Park. The Warner houses were built at the end of the 19th century and into the early 20th century as social housing, they are quite distinctive small terraced houses, which are now mainly privately owned. I really enjoyed listening to the stories and looking at the images. An interesting project.

The second project I liked was on display at a newly opened coffee shop Bygga Bo, which just happens to be at the end of El’s road and serves great coffee and really nice cinnamon buns… This project had stories and photos of people who are of mixed-race, sharing their experiences of growing up. Again it was really interesting to read about people’s experiences in this, very multi-cultural piece, of London.

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In the grave yard of St Marys Parish Church was a cool little exhibition from Whitefields school of small sculptures made from found items, I really liked it.

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There was also an exhibition inside the church. I am going to visit the church properly soon as it has an interesting history!

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There was a load of stuff happening in Walthamstow Village including Breaking Bard, a collection of sayings from Bill Shakespeare posted in the windows of houses in a few of the streets. It was quite amusing.

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And in the streets of the newly named “Poets Corner” – so named as the surrounding streets are named after poets, were a collection of verse.

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What I liked about these, and the whole art trail in general was that it gave all residents an opportunity to participate and share in the event.

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There was some interesting work in the Winns Gallery from Waltham Forest College, including this interesting sculpture from student – Simona Pesce.

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Even the underground station was in on the project with a couple of walls holding some quite interesting prints.

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There are a few small galleries in Walthamstow and we visited a few of them, including the Pictorem Gallery way up by the Bakers Arms, which had a show by a range of artists. El even bought a small piece!

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I am not sure if this was part of the trail or not, but it was on the way , and it looks like it has been left for a reason – maybe it is art ?

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Separate, but sort of part of the art trail, is a new project called the free library project that now includes Walthamstow. There are a number of small library boxes around where people can exchange, take or leave books. A very cool idea – one that should be taken up everywhere ! This box has been painted by street artist Hannah Adamsezek – who I last found here, a slightly different environment !

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I missed a whole load of things out due time and missed a bunch of photo ops as I didn’t always have a camera.

It was a truly awesome event, and I am looking forward to 2015 – I may even join in as well !!