In the old servants’ quarters up two flights of stairs in the William Morris House and Gallery E17 where the refurbishment allowed the wholescale white painting -over of the brown panels, in the upstairs where the heat rests heavy , we had an evening of poetry readings inspired by the works of William Morris. I like to see who comes to these events and remember we’re in Walthamstow, just down from Ye Olde Rose and Crown theatre pub and opposite the Sally Army shop which is going through some gentrification and I noticed that I was surely amongst the literati maybe and definitely the white middle class of aforesaid parish. True I knew there was a unionist from working class stock waiting in the wings and coincidentally when he shone on stage, his poem was my favourite. We were not in Leyton then.
The poetry was fine: a couple of professionals began the programme and there were a few readers with that earnest poetry reading voice which Stephen Fry and I just cannot abide. Most of the poems did the job ; that is they were words inspired by the colour and design of William Morris or by his rotten marital relationship. The poets are all “Forest Poets” who meet monthly at Ye Olde Rose and Crown. It was a free event as part of the outstanding E17Art Trail.
Before my ascent into inspirings about the blues and the peacocks and the soaring doves of Morris I fell upon Grayson Perry’s “The Walthamstow Tapestry”. I forgot the exhibited work was coming down soon so was lucky to chance through the door. I love Perry’s philosophy about the work he did; all his interview responses were up to read on a panel. I loved knowing that he used printing technology including Photoshop to create his massive work which is humerous more than anything. His tapestry depicts our journey through life, through consumerism so all the now Brand names are prominent like Nike and Visa. Get close up and see the colours and textures all done by machine. Was a change to be in a gallery with viewers laughing and comparing opinions.
William Morris has a whole programme of events going on right into 2013. It’s set in Lloyd Park. Wait to see that space covered in snow. Last night at about 7, the sunset over the House was rich and yellow.
Well done the Forest Poets. Well done the William Morris Gallery. Thank you.
Refusing to end the beautiful warm evening at 9pm I joined the Open Mic Nite at the Hornbeam Café near sordid Bakers Arms but living just inside Walthamstow by its post code. What a buzzing place with music sounding, a warm glow from the window onto the pavement and a huddle of drunks hiding by the bike stands. Didn’t recognize any of my neighbours in the room. The Hornbeam Café. Sausages.