Whilst my niece was up at Buckingham Palace looking at the magic of Kate’s wedding dress I was at The Hackney Museum (always a pleasure) watching the photographs of the Olympic and Paralympic Games site along with photos of the commissioned art installations clicked by artist Monica Biagioli. The work is called “Sound Proof” and is part of Mapping Olympic Cities which is under “Mapping The Change”. Hot stuff because the art is exciting and Monica was on a touchy subject when she showed photos of Barcelona and we in the audience obviously had pictures of Leytonstone High Road, Leyton High Road, Stratford High Street and dumpy Hackney Wick in our heads: Just some of the ignored places and only a year to go before the big event. We turn to promises of legacy and things aint looking too good. But hey we were there for the art. Unless you can stretch your neck outside your box, it’s a different way of doing things to have an encounter with a soundbox and a letter on the ground and then feel engaged/connected with the transformation of the brown sites of old Stratford. I could do that. I had gone along to get some aesthetics into my day. Bizarrely I’ve just finished reading “Invisible Cities” by Calvino and you can’t grapple with that while Jeremy Kyle’s on! The book is connected to “Sound Proof” in as much as people can dream of their ideal city but the ever-changing scenes make the dream change too. Deep. Beautiful words. Come to Book Brunchers at Sutton House and get down on it. We’re going to grill it. I already know the reactions. “Stereocilla” is another project going down in The Site based on Calvino’s book. I recommended Calvino to the book group to have a tie-in with a local project. There are so many arty projects going on re Olympics and Paralympics development but who knows how many and do the artists ever come under an umbrella and do the Stratford people care? Are they really engaged? Time for a survey a la Open Stage at the Theatre Royal Stratford east where the volunteers are forever asking the locals “What DO you want?”
On the other hand art isn’t up for demand. It must retain its integrity.
Well. Worse than sitting in an uncrowded room was the information got from the Cyclists Federation member present that the tow paths and the waterways along the Lea Canal/River (who knows?),and the Greenway will be closed off from March next year! Astounding news. Why didn’t we think that would happen as the Floating Cinema furiously and freely opens its bow to us? It’s a case of ‘get in quick’ and I will. So glad I’ve done the walks alomg the tow paths and the river trips up and down, all around, as if I knew. Why would we be naive as to think the tow-paths will not be developed after the Games? (Hackney Wick)
So after that free treat at the Museum I went off to Beautiful Interiors in Walthamsow Village to be at the launch of an exhibition of fine art which actually launced the E17 Arts Trail starting today. Buzzin’! The whole street was warm with open -doored restaurants aand Tapas bars. Full of theem media types. The top of Orford Road is such a different part of teeming multi-cultural, always fiercely busy Walthamstow. It’s a step back in time to 1970s but as you ogle at the vintage stuff in Beautiful Interiors you’re actually back to the fifties; granny brooches, floral tureens, glass-fronted cabinets, and painted thimbles. It was all about the art and the exhibition is well worth a browse.