Art Night 2019 takes over Walthamstow

A riot of free pop-ups, installations, streetfood and takeovers hits E17 for one night only

Did you know Art Night is London’s largest free contemporary art festival? No, neither did we. (Even more impressive when you learn that it’s only its fourth outing.)

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.

Dave, Tom & Sam from Signature Brewery. Photo: SB

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).

At least Leyton and Leytonstone are represented in The Collab, a venture between local faves Signature Brewery and We Serve Humans.

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.

Art Night is free and runs all night long on next Saturday 22nd June. A selection of projects will also be open on Sunday 23rd June for families and day-time visitors from 12pm – 4pm. More info here

Main Image: Joe Namy, Automobile (Christian Kleiner)

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