Issue 26 Up Your Street

Fri 3rd July free 6-9pm Glebe Road Open Studio (Ceramics)

Open Studio private view

Maria Alvarez Echenique
18 Glebe Road Studios
London E8 4BD

Sat 4th July  12-6pm Choose and PAY for  a piece of ceramic and decorate it with glaze then learn about how it is packed into the kiln and  fired at 3pm

Sun 5th July free 12-6pm collect your work from above.

                       free 11 am. The Mill E17  Final chance to view art on the wall.

Mon 6th July free 10-1pm Sewing and machines at Create in Old Ford Road. Squashed. Hardly drop in more like one out one in. Loads of resources and a cuppa too.

Thurs 9th July free     10.00-1pm Mental Spaghetti Barking, Plaster of Paris,words with poet John Hegley, and fun. Book at Eventbrite.  Other sessions available. e.g. printing and plaster sculpture on other dates in July. (Update. Printing class is full).

Studio 3 Arts
Boundary Road
IG11 7JR Barking
United Kingdom


It’s been a week of art.

It’s been a week of art and it’s not over until the fat lady sings; there’s RAGWORKS to measure and catalogue ready for October 16th. Time flies.

Just caught up on BBC Iplayer to get up to date with what’s occurring in the planet of established art and saw Zephaniah and Goldie doin’ Matisse and Turner. Fresh take on things and a change from Tim Marlow who I last saw trying to get any considered responses from Bailey about the whys and wherefores of photography and legacy. That was painful and Marlow was a dog with a rag. He actually put words into Bailey’s mouth. Way to interview! Job done.

Zephaniah was interested in Turner’s depictions of slavery and he investigated an huge painting “The Slave Ship”. Ole Zeph was not in his culture comfort zone or rather responded way too emotionally to art. It was a case of “I know what I like and I like what I know”. There were some great camera shots on the works of Turner and Zephaniah’s locks.

Goldie looked like he was lovin’ it. He saw Matisse as a joy-bringer,  raved about comfortable colours and hinted at Matisse as being one for the people.

Up Your Street community group is off to see Constable at the V&A in a couple of months but I tried to watch “Constable , a country rebel” on TV late night the other night. Too too boring . I still have to plough through the “Abstract” series on BBC Four. Lordy Lord.

The word “Outsider” crept into the programmes I watched with Zephaniah describing himself as an outsider and empathising with ole Turner. Really? Didn’t get that. I did get that Goldie was the only black man in Tate Modern that day and that I’ve never in my life seen a Rasta in any posh gallery. Oh Beeb and your diverse ways.

Up to my neck in Outsider Art having been to Seniors’ Art School in Southwark Park. Saw a doodly exhibition and lots of minutiae in biro. I’d been to the BowArts exhibition of Madge Gill’s work as it was pulled from the archives. This was my first conscious sighting of “Outsider Art” and it took me two hours to think positively about the scribbles. I am not that interested in the biography of the artist or hearing any pseudo psycho-analysis about an artist in glorious retrospect. Just let me soak up the work and see if my judgemental spirit responds well.

At the workshops we participants followed through tasks to redefine drawing per se. No easy task to fiddle around with charcoal, pencil, ink , 30 pieces of A3 paper. wobbly easels, moving images, Charlie Mingus’ airs and artspeke in half an hour. No sir. We were to loosen our perceptions of what drawing should or might be so we stroked and dotted in time to Mingus. We became ambidextrous experimenting with our other hand and lapping quilled ink over wax crayon or felt tip inside pencil-drawn spirals. The hostility towards the tutor ebbed and flowed depending on the awkwardness of the task.

In the afternoon we were allowed to use biro to draw. We used postcard-sized paper and drew, scribbled, doodled, cut and pasted as in days of old, hardly laughed, felt uncomfortable and were a superficial “we”.

Another journey begins.

Outsider art insights

Dilston Grove Southwark Park edge today was a-buzz with seniors scraping charcoal on paper to Charlie Mingus’ jazz tones. Tea and buttery flat biscuits maintained the ole sugar levels as we gawped at Outsider art, drew spirals, drew dashes and wrote for fifteen minutes in the zone, in the flow of a stream of consciousness. Twas almost unbearable and then someone said it, whined it out: “I want to draw”.

Here is a treat. Here is a free three day art workshop in a beautiful park. dilston

We ate al fresco. We watched the cygnets skim over the lake. The tutor couldn’t make it but we were happy enough warding off Dementia, testing out the new easels and using up all the expensive graphite.

But do I like Outsider art?