May 31, 2014

Home for Now by Joanna Thornhill

Could you tell us about the work you will be showing during this year's E17 Art Trail?
This is my first time exhibiting at the Art Trail and I will be selling copies of my recently published book, Home for Now (, at a special show price of £15. As the book is aimed at renters and first-time buyers looking for easy, inexpensive ways to transform their house into a home, all without upsetting their landlord or making big changes to the space, it seemed to fit quite well with the Inhabit theme. I will be displaying a few of the styling ideas I feature within the book, and will be on hand to offer interiors advice for anyone also looking to spruce up their place! I'm also running a competition to win a signed copy of the book, plus a goodie bag full of lovely home-for-now-friendly bounty (the contents of which can be seen in this blog post, from a previous competition I ran online).  

How have you been preparing for this year's trail? 
I held a launch party for my book a month ago (which you can read about here), which was good practice for the Art Trail. I am adapting what I did there to suit my new pop-up location.

Could you tell us about an an artist/ artwork that  particularly inspires you? 
I am a bit too much of a magpie to choose any one particular artist or piece; mainly I am inspired by individuals who have managed to create something new and innovative, and creatives who have a passion for their work and a twinkle in their eye when they talk about it. I'm also a big fan of crafts so I love being able to see the hand of the maker within a piece, whether that be a faint pencil line within a painting, the individuality of a multi-layered screen-print or even happy accidents - when I visited my venue host's (Kiln Arts) home workshop, I was particularly taken with his "frustrated potter" pieces - the ceramics that had gone awry during the firing process - which had created some stunning shapes and glazes that would be impossible to recreate, therefore making them unique and turning them into sculptures in their own right.

How does inhabiting a community like Walthamstow help your practice?  
I work from home in Walthamstow and wrote the book here (and also featured several properties within it from neighbouring borough, Hackney). Having moved here just over two years ago and not knowing a soul, it's been such a pleasure to meet so many like-minded designers, artists, journalists and generally-creative-types also living here, many of whom, having initially met through Twitter (, have gone on to become real-life friends. Having that shared local connection makes it extra-special when working with people in my 'day job' as a freelance interiors stylist and writer - I have featured the work of several local designers in magazine photoshoots I've produced, including Room39, Jonathan Maker  and Etoile Home, and have also obtained some press coverage of my own for my book, thanks to my Walthamstow journalist friends.

What are you most looking forward to during the E17 Art Trail this year? 

This year I'm looking forward to exploring the different districts with ease, thanks to the new layout of the guide, which I think will be a real help and stop it feeling so overwhelming! As I will be spending much of the trail at my location, which is in the Markhouse area, I'm hoping particularly to pop out and about to some of the venues closest to me during any quiet moments. I'm also really looking forward to visiting the Blackhorse Studios, which are very near my own home - it's great to have such an interesting venue nearly on your doorstep!

Listing no.85 in the guide: Click here for more information

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