I'm reminded of the lyrics from 'Tinseltown In The Rain', the Blue Nile's late night elegy to my native city, Glasgow. The Art Trail this week has been further energised by the summer heatwave and I feel caught up in both, cycling around the sites, last minutes looming as I try to view as much as I can without missing either detail and nuance. That is both beauty and bugbear, the essential temporal nature of the trail and indeed of my own capacity to imbibe it, as it were. As the last weekend is all but upon us, I urge you to pick up a guide and catch at least three or four events or exhibits.
This weekend in particular we have 'Bookish' @ Ye Olde Rose And Crown (Venue 79) where all manner of literary delights are on offer, including Chris Walker's Art Trail specific illustrated tale 'Yellowman'. I remember how this great idea came about, via Facebook, basically the loss of a favourite Lego figure who is lost by a young boy and later reunited. I won't spoil the detail within, but it is a funny, inventive and touching tale of community, of fun, of the simple pleasures of life. And it's all set in E17. Also this weekend is the Letterpress Print Fair, a celebration of all things letterpress and the bold Matt McKenzie will be there, worth attending just to see his talent at work. Plus, he has a wickedly dry sense of humour. Letterpress is at Venue 75, The William Morris Community Centre.
The trail guide is invaluable at this point and if like me you're not keen on maps, have no fear, it's one of the easiest and concise ways to navigate around the vast amount of venues and artists on offer. 'Soapbox and The Public Reading Wall (also Saturday 13th) is an ideal trail event to voice an idea, opinion, poem, rant, chant, pose a question, seek an answer or simply have your say. It's @ Venue 86 and as with nearly all events on the trail is open to all. Tonight (12th, Friday) sees 'The Pickle Party' @ Venue 78, Artworks, a chance to praise all things pickled. How can one refuse? There is also a last chance to catch the Stowtellers @ Venue 99, with their evening of Arabian Nights-themed storytelling. All welcome including children. Venue 23, Lloyd Park Studios, is hosting its first artists' open studios evening and last by no means at all least, St Barnabas Church, Venue 114, has its private view, where all nine artists will display their work. This is an extremely well curated exhibit and had some very challenging and thought-provoking work.
Sunday the 14th sees City Studios hosting a silver ring making workshop @ Venue 15, Eight Legged Nature Trail encouraging you to write a kenning as well as produce your own art work, off the map, though assembling at the Coppermill pub at 10am. Emma Hammond helms this event and she is an excellent poet as well as a gentle and encouraging presence. The Walthamstow Family Bike Ride Art Tour is also on Sunday, providing you with an opportunity to use routes you may be unfamiliar with and is a superb way to both keep fit and see more of the trail in the best way possible in my humble estimation. The Wildcard Brewery, Venue 147, sees a Where In Wally Party, where the online map created by trail-goers will go live. This map will feature treasured places and spaces in Walthamstow as suggested by people attending the trail. There is also a chance to perfom in a flash mob with Clare's Dance Class in a secret location. Contact Clare at: firstname.lastname@example.org for more details. A last chance to create some wild and wonderful characters based on a favourite word id at Venue 63. And relax...and breathe...
I hope this is of some help to last minute trailers, I myself will be trailing like mad this weekend and I'll be sharing my experiences as I go along. We will have some more guest voices along the way and I'll be giving you my favourite places and spaces without too much bias. It's been a dizzying and interesting ride thus far and I have many people to thank, not the least my own wonderful partner Jennie, who has in her unfaillingly patient nature helped me edit this blog and provide miraculous tech support in the face of both my techno-fear and also my Tourette's response to computational hiccups. Many thank yous to Jennie. I'd also like to thank Carolyn Abbot for her suggestions and invaluable advice to literally get on my bike (but not in the Norman Tebbit sense...) The Art Trail volunteers who marshall the troops on guided walks, distribute Trail programmes and all points in between are worth thanking too. As are the venues I've thus far visited and the artists and participants who'vd given me their valubable time, input and the odd refreshment. I'm still caught up in this big rhythm as Paul Buchanan sang all those years ago.