Jul 13, 2012

The blogger from out of town from Walthamstow

I'm Hassan and as you will know if you follow the blog regularly (if you don't, you're gonna be missing out), I have been given the busy but blessed task of blogging this year's absolutely mammoth E17 Art Trail.

I have been away from Walthamstow for 4 years, and being the ol' artist that I want to be (find some of my work here: http://readhassanvawda.tumblr.com), I was going to be running around this year's art trail to get back into the creative community of Walthamstow regardless, so to do it 'officially' is pretty ideal and I'm rather thankful and oh my! How the creative community has changed.

I was born in E17 and was rooted here up until I was 18. It has been my cosy home made of a dodgy amalgamation of concrete, different coloured plastic bags and as some have pointed out, mattresses. I decided to leave all that utter beauty to do a bit of travelling and then to go all the way to Falmouth, Cornwall for University - a place with not much concrete and mostly one colour of plastic bag. But even amongst all the lovely, clean, fresh sea air and seafood I always missed the concrete and bags of E17. It is a place that is plastered in layers and layers of different peeling wallpapers, all overlapping and covering...but it isn't a plain wall that hides under it, it is more and more wallpaper: history over history, culture over culture and class over class.

When I left Walthamstow, the creative community was spread out thinly or completely underground. People weren't aware of a thriving art scene. The creative communities' wallpaper space was hidden amongst everything else but since coming back how that has seems to have changed. Last Easter I came back for a week and driving through Wood Street on a late evening I noticed a silent film being projected on the wall of the dentist. Before, you had to find art, film and poetry in Walthamstow, now it seems to be one of those lovely hubs where it will find you and you can stumble on something every other day. The creative community here seems to have come together in a collage of their own wallpaper with their own place on Walthamstow's wall and the E17 Art Trail seems to be the perfect glue. 

This years Art Trail is even bigger and stronger than ever, with around 180 venues hosting about 350 events. As always there will be artist previews posted by Valerie and myself containing images and responses to this year's questionnaire (see post below). However, this year for the first time there will also be venue previews! Leading up to the trail I will be posting about some of the venues and what's happening so you can start planning and don't miss out on hidden gems. 

The E17 Art Trail is officially on between the 1st -16th of September and I for one cannot wait to start zipping through every event and exhibition on the trail. If I know this area, it will be different, diverse and downright fantastic!

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