Anyway, we were away at the weekend and finally embarked on an arts trail mooch yesterday afternoon, aided by a detailed map and guide freely available across E11, before hotfooting it to Michael Sanders’ special festival supper club at the Wanstead Tap (to be reviewed in a separate post).
So, of our initial toe-dipping into the trail, what do we recommend? Well, if you’re stomping up the High Road for an americano at All You Read is Love, stop for a moment at Nick Hunt’s Crossing of Wanstead Flats 1865, hanging right there in the window of San Marino cafe. Its assembly of four images purport to be “recently discovered photographic portraits of the first exploration of a great eastern wilderness”. Surreal, indeed.
There’s a mix of work across the walls of AYRIL itself – although some of it pales in comparison with the much-loved granny’s parlour chic of the interior. But Susan Henry’s “Whistle-Ass” cotton-thread tapestry in the toilet will definitely raise a smile (yes, it’s all for sale, even that, at £45).
An unexpected joy of our brief trail-ette was work by Sue McQueen in the characterful North Star on Browning Road. Drilling in the refurbed garden aside, the connecting corridor between pub interior and exterior proves a tranquil exhibition space for this artist’s colourful abstract works, many of which riff on the idea of “home.” McQueen herself is originally a Bromley girl, and now fully paid-up Leytonstoner, of course. Recommended.
The bohemian Fill the Gap gallery by the tube wasn’t open alas – why? – but we lapped up both fine art and textile work by Shereen Brown and Antonietta Torsiello at the ex-Filly Brook (boo!) and soon-to-be Laura Lea design shop instead.
And, after a quick peek at Stanslao Rivetti’s paintings in Luna Lounge, it was a mere hop back over to Wild Goose Bakery’s Thursday’s Child show by illustrator Stacey Williamson-Michie, who displayed some nice mixed-media pieces in watercolour, ink and paper-cutting (see our main pic, Cranes, above). If you’re a fan, she’s also running a workshop at the aforementioned new Laura Lea pop-up outlet on 23rd August.
Just having time for a sunny pint outside the Red Lion – is that scaffolding ever going to come down, by the way? – we glimpsed the deckchairs being laid out for that evening’s outdoor cinema showing of Lost in Translation. And then it was time to force-march over to E7 and dinner at the Tap.
What remains to check out this weekend? Well, both the puppets at Stone Space – oddly shut yesterday, despite the ongoing festival – and the multimedia Hitchcock show at Artefacto for starters. Plus there’s the fun-sounding Jumble Trail which takes place on Sunday from 10-4pm. And a million other things.
But what have you enjoyed so far? And what shouldn’t readers miss before the trail closes on Sunday? Pray share.