The skinny? Each year, it invites a leading cultural institution or curator to explore the history, culture and architecture of a different London neighbourhood through commissions, one-off events and premieres by international and local artists.
This year – of course – it’s all about Waltham Forest, London’s first Borough of Culture, with the festival taking place in unique sites and spaces where “people come together in everyday life”.
Which roughly means a car park, a Polish deli, a fishmonger’s and late night internet cafe – all in E17 – as well as Walthamstow Market, Town Hall Square, The Mall shopping centre and the old Art Deco EMD Cinema.
Anyway, kicking off art 7pm, you can expect dozens of artists and independently-curated projects. A definite highlight should be artist and composer Joe Namy (see main pic, above), whose sonic installation uses local car owners’ vehicles and their sound systems in the confines of a Walthamstow car park.
Elsewhere is artist duo Hannah Quinlan & Rosie Hastings, whose ‘musical spectacle’ will travel through Walthamstow Market, bringing together musical genres – including disco, House, Hi-NRG and Pop – into a single dramatic vision performed on an LGBT+ Pride float.
Then there’s Alice Theobald’s intriguing video installation and live music performance staged in The Mall, exploring the concept of buyer’s remorse. Something we all know about.
Finally, Oscar Murillo, recently nominated for the Turner Prize 2019, will be working in close collaboration with people in Walthamstow before, during and after the festival to create a new commission titled Welcome to the Members’ Club.Peckish? Well, the food (and drinks) offer sounds just as good. A late-night menu will be dished up at The Jellied Eel – a pop-up cocktail and croquetas bar housed in the historic L. Manze pie and mash shop on Walthamstow Market – with Wild Card Brewery and Mother’s Ruin Gin Palace in the industrial estate serving up special cocktails, performances and ‘gingo’ (gin meets bingo).
And on Walthamstow Town Square, special food stalls and a pop-up bar will run through to midnight courtesy of Welcome to the Forest, showcasing some of Waltham Forest’s locally brewed beers and cider.
Oh, and there’s also a ton of stuff happening hop-on-the-Victoria-Line-away in Art Night’s sister location, King’s Cross. Read more more about that on our own sister title here.
Main Image: Joe Namy, Automobile (Christian Kleiner)