As the E17 Art Trail reaches its coda after sixteen feverish, heady and ultimately successsful days, once again I'm reminded of beloved lyrics, this time from Roy Harper's 'Elizabeth'. There's a line in the song that summons up for me the experience of being both participant and observer; 'whatever persuasion you are you must open your door, if you mean to meet. Come and be counted in whispers of multitudes and come on your own feet...'. The Art Trail is a call to arms in this analogy, we open our houses, our studios and maybe even our hearts as we share our intimate creations in public. As we, Jennie, Anna Courcha and myself brought our own wee contribution at Venue 28 to a close, I was totally wiped out, as was Jennie. I think I read half a dozen pieces of mine yesterday and my throat gave out about 8.30pm. It was a fabulous three weekends and opening night. We made new friends, deepened old relationships and talked, drank some wine, shared some grub and celebrated life. It's that simple and that profound.
We were fortunate to have Laura and Morag there with us for the last leg, apt given their essential roles in the Art Trail. We were also visited by the redoubtable Rebecca Tully, the wonderful poet Other Theresa and all their gorgeous children. It was a suitable and magical way to end our part in the trail. Hats off to Laura and Morag and all the other volunteers who bring us all together for this intrinsic part of Walthamstow's cultural firmament. As I sit writing this, I am anticipating a final round up today, Sunday the 14th and a closing party at The Wildcard Brewery. To say I have enjoyed the E17 Art Trail would be a total understatement of epic proportions. It has been such a life and creatively-affirming two weeks that I shall never forget, nor ever downplay its importance to my own inspiration. As a result of it, Jennie and I are proposing a regular spoken word event at the garden studio. Last year I was too ill to take part and I was gutted to have missed it. This year, I feel that I have made up that lost ground on so many personal levels. As I say, simple, yet profound.
Looking back over the trail this year, there have been numerous highlights which I will be covering over the next few posts. This post is just a chance for me to thank everyone who came to Improper Art at Thorpe Crescent and to all of the venues I visited and artists and makers I spoke with. The generosity of spirit as well as physical genorosity has been outstanding. Walthamstow is a town that never ceases to amaze and inspire. Since I've arrived, I've penned four novels and a few short stories and poems. It's the gift that keeps on giving and we are all Walthamstow.