It’s all about the Birds

From the mural in Coppermill Lane to the Swifts in windows for The E17 Art Trail to the electronically tagged wrapped hens in Morrison’s it’s all about the birds. It is all about the Walthamstow Wetlands such that when, at Hilary’s Tuesday’s Sociable Sewing yesterday, when it was warm and sunny, M proposed we make a quilt and a group almost decided to pay homage to Walthamstow Wetlands by appliqueing swifts on a sheet. Theft of chickens by the poor of the borough was talked about and we were aghast amongst the pinking shears, pink flowers and pink piping. On the walls behind us were geese in acrylic, winged shapes on lino-cuts, and black knitted swifts in the rafters. That is the Wonder of the Wetlands aka Wonderful Wetlands.
I spied the cat amongst the …er..pigeons. Hassan’s work caught my eye, coloured my senses, made me gasp, made me urgent in my tracks to covet the pink cat next to a fluffy bottom of a heron. The background was sharp and industrial, urban and vast. The painting’s title was long and poetic. The painting IS of the Wetlands; the mysteries and wonder of nature in a wild place soon to be full of visitors and lo and behold, children. We are voyeurs looking through Bent grass to see birds and foxes, herons and cats at work.

Back in the room we debated the journey of a quilt put together by women learning foundation stitching and adoring tiny prints on tiny cotton samples. Should the quilt be as large as The Mill table? Where would it really end up? The word quilt vanished and was replaced by “wall-hanging” and then applique showed its mistress head and tada..embellishments. Now we were moving into RAGWORKS territory. How would the integrity of a sewing group known for its ease and acceptability, drop-in nature, do-as-you-please nature survive a transformation into a group work needing homework and commitment and the possibility of excluding those who were not ready to be part of another women’s quilting group. Who would sew? Who would go?
The point of the group and any informal non-professional group in a community hub is surely the getting together of people. those from Venus in the main, and a chance to laugh, talk and chat, jaw and natter. We don’t do that over the garden fence anymore. Workshop facilitators worth their plaster of Paris, or their crocheted wire know that. Seamless Seams and Songololo were not about to produce decorations for a Town Hall. The glory of an amateur accomplishment is charming and always an indication that someone somewhere had a positive vibe going on, is evolved through social grouping and natural selection. And of course the beauty of any amateur wall-hanging and quilt, installation and experience is in the eyes of the makers, rarely the uninvolved recipients.
The nature of a group can be fragile but its integrity related to its title needs to be respected.

So I left my spacious sun-lit room, donned my creased red summer jacket, prepared for the hour journey with my sewing project in my crocheted plastic hold-all, stood at my front door and asked myself “Why are you going to the Mill when you can sew on your own table at home?” “To be Sociable”.
That’s all.

Issue 13 of Up Your Street, now ten years old. Whoop!

Easter Holidays are on so many community centres are closed whilst planning post-Easter events.

The Mill in Coppermill Lane E17 and The Claremont Project in White Lion Street, Islington are always putting on events for everyone and usually for free so just check their websites.

Lloyd Park Sharing Heritage for over 50s has produced a booklet about the free to join group’s activities and events. Fitzroy Johnson’s poems are well worth a read. Some of us have met him at projects at The Mill and at Artillery mounted events to do with creative writing. All success to him, a marvellous local sharing poet.

Fri April 21st Some Up Your Streeters have booked themselves to enjoy a Jamaican inspired feast at Butler’s Bakery in Leytonstone.

Next stop may be the restaurant above Hoo Hing wholesalers in Argall Industrial Estate. There is a spacious place where I presume you can ask for a crab to be cooked after you’ve chosen it from a tank in the store. Maybe we’ll do that after we’ve attended a workshop at the new pottery studio around the corner.

Reminder that on May 4th some have signed up for the workshop at Whitechapel Gallery. I’ll send out a reminder.

Well ahead……
There is a great creative and well-being festival coming up in June with bookings taking place now. Advertised are free textile exhibitions in Hackney and workshops. Just put the festival title into your search engine and see what pops up. Many events such as demonstrations, discussions, sing-alongs and etc.

In June too there’s the Anti-University event-laden jamboree with many many free events in ten days. Mostly around Hackney and Old Street area there are exhibitions, discussions, performances and everything in between.

Our local sewing lady, Hilary at Tuesday’s Sociable Sewing at The Mill, will be running more sessions at Claremont. Sylvia and BN will be presenting a topic at Soapbox next month. It is a fact too that Soapbox will not be monthly come to Autumn and beyond.

Up Your Street is ten years old.

Up Your Street. Issue 10

Tues Mar 21st £1 on the first day of Spring.10-1pm. Hilary Davis’ Tuesday’s Sociable Sewing at the Mill Coppermill Lane E17. Bring your own sewing project or follow Hilary’s suggestions.

free 1-6pm Art exhibition at Memorial Church in Barking Road. Women artists. Open weekends an Tuesdays until April 8th.

Wed Mar 22nd free “Local Art Exhibition by the very talented students and teacher at Forest Gate Learning Zone’s Fine Art Classes.
The exhibition takes place at Forest Gate Arts, 11 Upton Lane E7 9PA

from Wednesday 22 March until Saturday 1 April (except Monday 27 March).

Many of these fine art works will be for sale at very affordable prices.”

(Thank you, Richard and Anna, for sharing).

Fri Mar 24th free 12-5pm drop in Photo fun at Pembury Centre in Hackney. The Posh Club presents some senior fun. Glad rags and elegant wear.

Mon Mar 27th free 6.30pm Tate Modern Starr Cinema screens “Frida” as a nod to International Women’s Day. Long film. No need to book.

(Thanks to Emma for sharing.)

Notes

1)There’s a very nice welcoming café with a West Indian flair and bakery along Cann Hall Road,E11 just by clean Londis. The bread is delicious but carries Hoxton prices. Parking is okay too still.

2)Thurs Mar 30th free. 11.30am Last of the three champions from Gillian Lawrence’s art project “Champions” at Hackney Central Library E8 our local Hilary Davis who will tell us through her chat and chosen music at East London Radio in Leytonstone what experiences drive her to support her local community. She will close the art project by being the final guest as down comes the exhibition and she collects her beautiful canvas.

Mary Katherine’s East London Radio’s programme is dedicated to lifting Yourself up to good living and so many champions who deal with very difficult emotive subjects were not invited for a March interview despite my recommendation as project leader. Ah, the year is long yet.

Hilary can be found every other Tuesday at the Mill E17, oft times at The Claremont Project in Islington or enjoying a brunch at Bill’s.

3)I made a Simnel Cake already.

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issue 8 of Up Your Street

Finding free local events usually all depending for seniors around the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Tues 7th Mar £1 10-1pm Hilary’s Tuesday’s Sociable Sewing at the Mill in Coppermill Lane E17. Parking restrictions in force ALL THE WAY down the lane.

Go enjoy sewing projects and a natter.

Wed 8th Mar free A few International Women’s Day events in a few hubs and churches. Tower gallery Barking Road in a beautiful church an art exhibition and attractions called “51% RememberHer” 6-9pm launch then the installations stay up until April 8th but not open every day. No disabled access though.

6-8pm at The Mill Coppermill Lane E17 Printing with Anna Alcock with women in mind. Need to book at £2 a place.

Hibo Wardere, local campaigner for education about FGM is presented with her award from WAW. Women Appreciating Women. Holiday Inn Regents Park. This is their highest award “The Honorary Award”. Congrats to our champion.

Bruce Castle nothing much to do with women A talk about the disappeared buildings of Tottenham Free.

Thurs 9th Mar free 11.30am At East London Radio hear Hyacinth Myers talk about her living up your life to good living with her Soul Conscious Creations enterprise.

free 4-5pm Claremont’s launch of an art exhibition called “Paradise”. All welcome. Nibbles and smiles. White Lion Street.

Sat 11th Mar free Canning Town Library 5-7.30pm screening “Bridget Jones’s Baby”. Book at Eventbrite.

Sun 12th Mar free 10-noon Walk on the wildside. A springish walk over at Walthamstow Wetlands. Book at Eventbrite.

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Up Your Street. Issue 7

Tues Feb 28th free 11-1pm Pancakes for Claremont members at White Lion Street.
Wed Mar 1st free Two art exhibitions acknowledging International Women’s Day 2017.
“Champions” paintings featuring Hilary, Mary, and Marcella from Up Your Street and then other worthy local women represented in acrylic at Hackney Central Library for the month.

“Headscarves 1950s” at Stratford east Picturehouse all month.

Thurs Mar 2nd free 11.30-noon East London Radio. “Champions” art and radio. Here we are linking to Gillian Lawrence’s art in Hackney. Studio guest this week is mover and shaker, Claire Weiss.

Sun Mar 5th free Noon-3pm Stoke Newington. Made in Hackney vegan cookery. Phone to book.

Wed Mar 8th £2 6-8pm The Mill “Printing from a Woman’s Perspective”. With Anna Alcock.

free 6-8pm “51% Remember Her”. Art exhibition and entertainment at the Tower Gallery in Barking Road. Lots of steps. Friendly venue. Active church.

Thurs Mar 9th free 11.30-noon Soul Conscious Creations Hyacinth Myers takes to Cyberspace talking as Mary Katherine’s guest at East London Radio as part of Gillian Lawrence’s art project, “Champions” at Hackney Central Library.

free 4-5pm for Claremont members. Informal launch of the latest art exhibition “Paradise”. It’s a sale too.

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Pleased As Punch

To submit art work at The Mill Coppermill Lane E17  fiver

To submit art work at the Claremont Project N1          zilch

”                   ”               ”        Hackney Central Library and Stratford east Picturehouse

nothing

To submit work A4 to A3 size to The Tower Gallery for International Woman’s Day

and it must be framed with D fasteners ready to hang £20 (concessions. £25 otherwise).

Pulled in by and ready to sit on the wagon that is International Women’s Day I could not let a ship pass in the night. The notice for submission was one week. I needed to find an A4 piece of work on my unsold shelf (ha ha). Check and I emailed the photo to the curator. She replied telling me how to pay overnight. I felt like the only OAP on the island. I saw the photo of the other artists; not a grey hair in sight. Not a touch of diversity either.

I needed a frame. Pictorem’s cheapest is £25. I remembered the frame I’d never left out for the bins and let slide under the sofa. Tidied it up but it did not suit. I thought of a guy with a cleverer saw than mine and then of my sister who’s a carpenter. I continued to listen to The Voice UK on second repeat in the background as that early music on Radio 3 got on my nerves. My mind was made up: I would make the picture fit the frame.

Cobbled the job. Did it. Saved money. Annoyed the neighbours with my hammering but the job was done. I still needed to find another D hook. There are enough framed pictures under glass here left from my family who moved out so I’d have to steal some. There is no art shop for miles.

Pleased as Punch.

Off to Claremont now to get myself inspired to make a contribution to the art exhibition there called Paradise. Here’s one I made earlier . 50cm x 70cm. ( A4 tssh!).paradise-homage-to-westray-water-colour-on-acrylic-on-canvas-big-290117

The Claremont Project

Exhausted from and happy to have completed my art work for my exhibition called “Champions” acknowledging International Women’s Day 2017 because an artist has to promote and design that promotion too and curb vanity, modesty and find a path of equilibrium without sinking into questioning any futility and finding the energy to be positive, then The Claremont Project is great in that it provides an opportunity to plunge into a distraction. It offers members walls and themes to get them using art for their own expression. It sets time schedules and so encourages discipline and time-management. You don’t even have to buy art materials: you can go along to the art exhibition preparation workshop, meet great seniors and chat along with coffee and free resources.

It’s a hoot.

I myself have begun my own canvas entitled “Paradise” which is the theme for March’s exhibition. I cannot order any more paint so will have to scour charity shops for a little bit of white and some yellow. Cass Art has a sale on . Ebay is always cheaper. I’d moved house recently and stored some ex-exhibition paintings on canvas in plastic in a shed. Boy, those rains found a way in so three frames were soaked and mouldy. Into the bin. Didn’t hurt. These days artists photograph all their work.

Carne Griffiths is giving generously a free workshop about fluid creating. The man uses tea bags? That’s at Cass Art, Islington but it’ll be first come first served, a bit like Black Friday at Asda and edging forward in a queue with art students or youngsters. Maybe not.

On Thursday next there’s another free workshop using indigo something in printing which Walthamstow’s darling, William Morris loved to use, or more like his workforce used. Sba Shaikh of Mehraj Textiles is also generous giving people a chance to try. Should be adults only as its the Gallery’s Lates evening. We’ll see.

And on IWD another freebie at The Mill E17 printing from a woman’s perspective with Inky Cuttlefish’s director, printer celebrated, Anna Alcock. Inky Cuttlefish, such a name conjuring up images of black ink, fish fins and lines.

Going back to Claremont, there is quite a clique of art- interested bods who have access to tours of curator-led exhibitions especially in Islington, and outwith. Claremont organises art therapy and other therapies alongside art classes at £2 a pop. Hilary Davis of E17 and beyond shares her craft skills there showing sewing techniques and organising reminiscence projects. She’ll feature at East London Radio on Mary Katherine Presents on March 30th. One of the visiting Claremont art therapists is Amanda Whittle who runs CreativiTEA in Waltham Forest on a Saturday once a month. Now that is not therapy although I have seen tears and heard angst there as I munched through my chocolate chunk. Amanda will also make sounds at East London Radio this March as a studio guest of Mary Katherine all part of my art exhibition called what? Champions.

The sun’s out. It’s sweet Saturday. There are three local walks I know about today. I also know it’s c-c-c-cold. Bravo all the seniors I know putting one foot in front of the other.