weirdwalthamstow

Borough of Culture opening weekend

In Borough of Culture, Events, Uncategorized on January 22, 2019 at 11:30 am

Well what a big start to the year. My partner’s parents made a trip over from West London on the Saturday and we got a cab over to Lloyd Park (the parents are in their 70’s and wanted to save their energy). We hoped by getting there at opening time we’d get in quickly. As we walked down Winns Terrace we saw instead we’d just joined at peak queue. But while it took an hiur to get in at least we got to enjoy the Nest installation from a distance.

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In the trees….

When we got in we went up the East path past the gallery where we were greated by the Sony Walkman logo #sarcasm

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The park had glowing white globes scattered about. A bit like an episode of ‘The Prisoner’.

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Rover!

When we came to the tennis courts the Walthamstow Film Club was holding a ‘silent cinema’ where we were handed a headset on the way in to listen to the soundtrack of the short films they were showing.

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Finally we can watch a film in the ‘stow without teenagers loudly talking!

The short films seemed to be about local people. It was a bit ‘Media Studies Final Year Project’ but heartfelt. We only watched a couple.

Hooking around to the island we approached the Nest as it was inactive and it came to life as we got to just outside the ring of motorised lights that it consists of. And as the choiral music built up we were awed by a swooping show of spiralling, swooping shafts of light. It was drizzling softly and the water drops were turned into tiny rainbows when they hit the powerful light beams.

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It’s so pretty!

It reminded me of the end of ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’. It was simple yet hugely effective, the lights making spots dance in the clouds and when lowered created lively shadows in the park’s trees.

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Take us to your leader

After the end of the show we came past the West side of the house. There was a street food market which we skipped, although we noted the lantern making workshop for kids. In from of the house on the ’roundabout’ were a bunch of gas fire sculptures, which also offered much appreciated warmth.

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It goes a bit ‘Mad Max’

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I bring you fire, do de doo doooo

We exited the park and made our way to the town hall via the road shut to traffic. More gas braziers lit the way and there were street performers coming in and out of the area.

 

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Triffid!

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Everything is better with a Samba band.

At the town hall my partner’s parents were starting to flag in the cold. So we didn’t go into the grounds and watched the show through the fence. In the grounds were more fire features (well, gardens can have water features so why not?). And night signs in the trees.

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The trees had been filed with light installations from God’s Own Junkyard creators.

The show projected on the town halls frontage, highlighting architectural details like windows and doors as individual elements.

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A lot of music and words from the people of Walthamstow.

Overall it was a great start to the year. Given the weather and the dark a light show makes heaps of sense. On the Saturday there were clearly thousands of people; the Bell was heaving, the chip shop had a queue for food and walking home along Hoe street a lot of the shops were doing business. A literal and figurative bright start to the year of being Borough of Culture.

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Walthamstow Pride

In Events, Uncategorized on August 5, 2018 at 6:34 pm

Well, that’s a title I never thought I’d get to write!

After two homophobic attacks a group of local residents decided to take constructive action and last weekend was the inaugural Walthamstow Pride. With 2 months notice a bash was put together in the town square. A collection of stalls of local groups welcome us on a very sunny day and after a browse my partner and I stretched out on a bit of ‘grass’ (okay, by this point in the Summer the square is more of a desert). As often at events it was late getting starting, but a bit of music through the PA system set a nice mood. Eventually things got officially started by the organisers.

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The committee kicks things off.

(BTW I’m limiting myself to just that one photo. The committee are ‘public faces’ but I don’t want to help bigots find targets).

After introductions it started off with some live music by a guy with his guitar and a sample looper, which was nice.

Sadly after 2 hours we had to go to another event, so the late start meant we missed a bunch of it. But we were glad we turned up at the start when it was quiet. By the time we left there was around 100 people but totals apparently reached 500 in the early evening. And the evening events in the Rose and Crown and Chequers were apparently successful.

I think it achieved it’s goal and this little, quickly organised event will be even bigger next year.

‘Weaving New Worlds’ at the William Morris Gallery

In Art, Uncategorized on August 5, 2018 at 5:14 pm

While having a stroll past the WMG I noticed a new exhibition was on, ‘Weaving New Worlds’. The recent exhibition about Morris’ daughter was good so I nipped in for a look.

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It’s a collection for art by women weavers around the world. Some political, some personal, all varied. While it didn’t grab me personally the breadth of this small show, both thematically and geographically, is impressive.

Tapestry is a rare art medium; well done to the WMG for giving it more exposure.