I will resist the temptation to mention 'summing up' or 'highlights' in this post, albeit there were many of the latter. The personalities, talents and stories that littered this year's trail were myriad and I was fortunate to have experienced more than a few of them. As a participant, along with Jennie and the fabulously gifted Anna Courcha, we were afforded much support, respect and such goodwill that I could easily fill several posts and bore even myself to the marrow with positive affirmation. As a small venue we had a decent footfall and most people stayed to ask questions, have some wine and listen to some readings. At the end we were all sated to say the least.
As an observer this year's trail has been uplifting, thought provoking, highly emotional and fun. It ran the gamut of humanity for me. From the magnificent to the utterly playful. I will resist the tempation to play favourites but will include some final pictures from the last weekend and instead thank the orgainisers, the artists themselves, especially the ones I spent time conversing with. There were many surprises and as a newcomer to the area (16 months and counting) I feel I have become more a part of Walthamstow as a result of being a part of the trail. It's a wonderful example of egalitarianism in action and all ages, nationalities and abilities are admitted. No one is excluded or not represented. This year was no exception and featured just as many voices from the margins (including my own) as it did more established artists. It also provided us with an oracle of sorts to glimpse future talent and there is no shortage in this town.
In previous posts I have mentioned the influence of the trail and indeed Walthamstow on my own creative process and I feel priviliged to have had the chance to share this with you here and in our venue on Thorpe Crescent. As a result of our being on the trail we have decided to host a regular spoken word/creative night probably starting after the Garden Party in July. These are the type of events that are birthed during the trail. I have met some truly inspirational and engaging artists throughout the trail and I will continue to blog here and share my reflections on the experience as well as the upcoming Walthamstow Garden Party. Please feel free to send in any of your contributions to the blog, including photographs.
I am compelled to say that William Morris himself would, I think, heartily approve of the Art Trail, hence the title. It has a similar vision to his own, but unlike a utopia the Art Trail is a continuing reality and that is the beauty of it.