Anyone who's been to the Ruby Stables, just off Hoe Street, knows it's one of the gems of Walthamstow. Walking in through the gates you're met with every sort of pot and plant, sculptures, signs, tiles, birdcages and all kinds of mysterious odds and ends, beautiful flower-wreathed arches and gilded mirrors. Inside is a warren of unpredictability – a collection of everything imaginable and a great many unimaginable things too. There’s furniture, suitcases, pictures, old kettles, tennis racquets, stained glass, knives and forks, satchels, photographs and all sorts of strange and magical things, presided over by the ever friendly Leroy and his cat.
Amid the celebratory chaos, the Stables are exhibiting some great pictures and prints as part of the Art Trail. Carole Kenrick’s exhibition, Of Heroes and Home, is a collection of beautifully-rendered etchings. The etching process combines her love of science with her passion for art-making, but more importantly the subjects – people (heroes) and local places (home) – reflect her putting down roots in Walthamstow and inhabiting a place that could be called home after years spent in different houses and in different countries.
Continuing the theme of Inhabit is a collection of prints of David Sullivan’s dusk portraits of nearby Lloyd Park, looking empty and beautiful. For anyone who knows the park the pictures are familiar but slightly unnerving. What character does this space have when everyone has left? Are we nostalgic about it, or is it uncomfortably eerie? On a bright summer’s day it’s strange to walk up the road from the park and see these quite different views – not the buzz of people and games and ice creams, but a private, meditative mood.