Sunday, 6 September 2009

It’s the E17 Art Trail!

It’s that time of the year when the E17 Art Trail opens up for nine days – 150 exhibitions, walks, talks and cycle rides, all in Walthamstow. Almost everything is free, and a lot of the action is in people’s homes and gardens. The streets are full of people walking around holding their free Art Trail Guide. You can see it online here, and this year for the first time there’s a blog.

Sadly, some people are using art as a device to suggest that this council is crap. This cynicism is profoundly shocking, as anyone who reads the council newspaper will know that Walthamstow is blessed with the smartest, most dynamic council in Britain.

(Above) This cake, to be seen in the Changing Room Gallery (number 20 on the trail), seems to be suggesting that governance is a matter of sweeteners, corruption and control-freakery.

(Below) The local cycling campaign's contribution sensibly emphasizes the importance of wearing a cycle helmet and looking in two completely different directions simultaneously in order to cope with the dangerous driving to be encountered on local roads.

(Below) Sadly, gifted local avant-garde artist Bob Belam (who has also found fame as an astronaut) was too late for inclusion in this year's Art Trail booklet, but Bob's installations, entitled 69 cycle stands in Walthamstow can be seen at selected locations around E17. This one (below) on Storey Road features a cycle stand surrounded by fragments of broken glass, intriguingly titled 'After three weeks, still no sweeping'. Bob is famous for his spoofs and amusingly most of the 69 cycle stands have been removed, buried behind wooden pallets, or simply never existed in the first place!