Creativity Revived

Yesterday Up Your Street was as it was six years ago with good company, an urgency to go, a desire to join in and do. The day ended on a warm drink and samosa high at St Mary’s Church in E17, standing on damp cold soil watching Hassan Vawda’s  projected installation onto an ancient Walthamstow church exterior wall with an accompanying soundscape. Hassan will tell you everything is a dream. With that in our brains we watched the film of his sister’s and his and I think too his dad’s journey to his grandparents’ house. The green trees were a green backcloth and there was a true connection to today as we explored a fifty year old boarded-up Indian house whilst the real church door was opened and shut. Something about dances and chances. I didn’t attempt to read the blurb in the  lantern dark and wanted my own feelings and reactions before I read the notes on Facebook and beyond.

I’ve been to many of Hassan’s art for all workshops and they are well-planned and truly for anyone regardless of previous immersion in any kind of art. Go read his poetry and be blown away.

A few years ago I lived on an island which has plenty of unopened abandoned houses. They do intrigue and house artefacts and memories of course. I reminisced slightly but held myself steady for the morning workshops at CreativiTEA in Hale End Library had been quite enough memory lane for the day. Amanda Whittle took we, a group of seniors , into collage and paint using objects and photos from the war and the fifties. War time. Who was there?

Another action-packed couple of hours was at Central Parade, obviously the Council’s flaghub for dem creatives.It was a free screen-printing workshop with Fungai . (See Nzinga at Facebook too).

Well, that was fun. Someone will be getting my tote bag full of ink splashes and another’s design for Christmas, someone on a remote island. My second attempt was far superior so I’ll bead it up for another. Otherwise it’ll be my spud bag. We were invited to make woolly pom poms  and tassels to pin onto our creations. Nah. I wanted to focus on perfection in one area. Up Your Street subscribers made up 80% of the participants.

It was buzzing at Central Parade with carol-singers and baking bread rising. Accompanied children joined in willy-nilly at the crafting and printing tables. There were units to explore called incubators (hmm) where members of a particular art group sell their wares until their residencies run out and in come other creatives.

Down the other end of the market stands motherly The Mill E17 which led the way for creativity in this borough and I support old friends especially with the print exhibition on the horizon.

Important aside:-Wonder what kind of contracts have the servers at Central Parade. Catering jobs are often those stinking zero-contract hours ones with pittances of pay. There was one table attendant who needed a lift as she was the picture of drudgery.


I am grateful for yesterday. Screen printing workshops are hard to afford. Fungai is a generous artist like Hassan. CreativiTEA is an excellent series of monthly workshops too.

Back to telly and mature throat-straining Dusty Springfield backed by Jools and Alison Moyet on YESTERDAY before Andrew Marr and his excitability.