Ten in the morning and Green Street near Upton Park was empty. Wanstead Park Station on the way was dirty looking and I was not impressed. Queen Street Market still had empty stalls and aimless new teenagers roaming around on their bikes. By hook or by crook I was going to get to banner-making, advertised as a textile project, and supported and managed by Rosetta Art Centre in West Ham. Our venue was a disinfectant- smelling residential sheltered home adjacent to the market. It felt very 1950s with those nasty stone stairs and too low bannisters. Of the few people there a few people had no idea why we were making banners and then the answer in the inevitable celebration of multi-culturalism raised its mighty head.
The banners made up of screen-printed designs will be finished and flying outside Queen Street Market. Good for you.
The guy on reception didn’t even know it was there. Dried pressed flowers. Memo to self: Never throw anything away.
Back to the 58 bus queue where people scratched at their scratch-cards, coughed on their fags, trundled their trollies full of pound shop bargains and avoided the wind-blown rails of new stock shalwar kameez. To the Thatched House and into soap-making at the Central Baptist Church in Stratford’s Grove. What a great sight. Tables were laid out in a spacious hall. Is that where the church congregation sway and clap? On each table were kiddies and seniors creating things. Up Your Street subscribers were out in force, using glue guns, pipe-cleaners, tweezers, recycled tubs, and anything to hand. Refreshments were politely ignored in the first hour. It was fun, fun, fun and very busy. Not engaging, but busy.
We manufactured gorgeous soaps of many colours. The cellophane wrapping did the trick at the end. On the bus Sue of Leyton realized she’d left behind her creations. I left her and took the bus into Hackney.
I had a good natter with Vera, an 89 year old Hackney woman and left her an Up Your Street business card.
I’d at last reached the Black British Girlhood art exhibition at the Centre For Better Health in Darnley Road. There had been a little stir of controversy about the launch of the exhibition last Friday as only black girls and women could attend. What? By the time the ruling was relaxed then all the free tickets were gone anyway. The ensuing exhibition is a sharing of private thoughts and realizations about one’s existence as specifically black and female all manifested in drawings, paintings, collage and photography. It’s a springboard for what’s to come. The facets need to be harnessed so that the journey through the art on the walls has a progression, I think. We need to see how the child learning about cane-rows grows into the positive young woman who wants to celebrate her facial skin and features without make-up. Tough challenge but well worth the effort as the power in the creativity is magnificent. Some great work there.
Over the road then to Hackney Museum for the exhibition about Cambodia past then a nod to Lydia, coffee, cake and reading group library worker up in the Central Library.
Lea Bridge Road, where the Lea crosses underneath was red with fire trucks, fire-engines and then unmarked and marked cop cars. Bus drivers whispered that someone had fallen into the river. What were ten fire trucks for then?
(Posted morning of 30th July 2015. RIP Young man as he went under in the River Lea canal after a police chase.)
Home for quiche.