If you've walked along Shernhall Street in the Village and wondered what's beyond the gate for The Makers Yard, now's your chance to find out! Currently in its fourth year on the trail, it’s magical to slip off the street and into the secret garden at its heart: the studios and workshop face onto a courtyard of flowers and organic beds, amid sculptures and installations.
The four artists – or rather ‘makers’ – have a diverse range of practices. Danielle Michalitsianos works in mixed-media, including installation and video, exploring youth culture and social networking, and especially the relationship to imagery and celebrity.
Yvonne Overton is primarily a painter, but her current exhibition is a lyrical investigation in sculpture and photography. Having unearthed the partial skeleton of a rat while digging in the yard, she set about documenting, reforming and photographing it. The study is accompanied by that of a bee, found entrapped in a spider’s web in the greenhouse. It’s playful, but also extremely beautiful and moving.
Russell Lowry works with natural materials, using found objects to turn discarded pieces into brilliantly funny and functional things. His workshop hums with noise and activity – offering tantalising glances of works undergoing transformations.
Fran Reeves works in ceramics, exploring texture and finish, taking inspiration from her background in silversmithing and sculpture as well her interest in functionality and sustainability.
The Makers Yard is the perfect space for the exhibition ‘Nooks, Crannies and Niches’, which runs until the end of the festival. The works, by seven members of Walthamstow Arts Club, use a variety of forms to explore the site: there are installations, sculptures inspired by magical greenery, environmental drawings and textiles, as well as an interactive ‘hide and seek’ bookwork. Make sure you investigate all the nooks and crannies of the yard (including the greenhouse!) to avoid missing anything.