Isn’t it funny how we humans are moody? Do you think frogs are? The weather is deflating my joy. But I am looking forward to seeing some understandable art at Bow Arts tomorrow as a show by Notting Hill tenants gets its launch. Tonight it’s The Mill E17 with sketches and drawings.
There is a big difference physically in how we view art and films. Alone watching is miles away from having an opinion, a like about a hung canvas and chatting over it. That’s why Soapbox at Tate is good because we share sometimes boldly, sometimes shyly what we see.
Meanwhile, Headscarves 1950s an art and research project all about women in UK 1950s wearing or not triangular headscarves goes to Coldfall Primary School for two hours on Sunday. My project is an homage to my mum and her cohort of mother housewives who lived and brought up their sometimes large families on the twelve year old council estate. Coldfall School was built to serve those children. The dedicated church, St Matthews, has long gone.
I did a reccie to see where I’d hang my canvases. The hall has limited wall space but I’ll manage somehow. The obliging caretaker aka site manager pointed out to me a few old exercise books and a ledger laying on the reception desk. I leafed through them and found once confidential notes about past teachers. I found personal notes about Mr Woodley, a loved teacher in the fifties. At home I found a matching name on the Internet, wrote to him and invited him to his old workplace and to my exhibition. HE ACCEPTED. His wife is an ex teacher of Coldfall too. We witnessed their coming together. I then joined a Facebook group to drum up interest in what had become a reminiscence session. It all worked.
In all this my laptop broke and remember I am unfunded ( I know, you’d think the V&A or Eastside Community Heritage would offer me megabucks for original and community-based fashion research), and so I missed out on reproducing some great photographs then mounting them for display, in this case on Sunday just where? I need a Tate Gallery,
The project is ongoing until June and will be followed by a Scarf Art exhibition in Hackney in October 2016.
I have lost interest in Coldfall Estate now. On a freezing cold day my sister and nieces and I pushed invitations and flyers through letter boxes and through those in adjoining roads. The place is a deserted grey backwater, Houses sell for a million. They are small and look unkempt. The alleys are gated now. Burglaries are usual because there are bolt- runs everywhere. I felt no sense of community at all: in fact the residents’ noticeboard is abandoned and neglected and the youth are bad-mouthed by sour-faced adults. Mind you, I don’t remember a community spirit in the fifties only that my dad worked to get the tenants association going. Mum typed the notices (she was an ace shorthand and typing gal) and dad printed them off on his inked up Gestetner. We kids beat each other up in the back room knowing we’d deserve strangely as a matter of course a sharp slap on our calves.
So memory lane is draining. I am about to meet old teachers and faces not known all at the same time as I label myself “the artist”. My darling sister is laying on platters of meat paste sandwiches and ginger cake built on raw fresh grated ginger all in the spirit of things,