A light on local art

Exploring the art on display in Christ ChurchExploring the art on display in Christ Church

From down-to-earth paintings and land art to the highs of balloon sculpture and church displays, the second Art Trail Wanstead catered for all ages. So what lies ahead? Its founder, Donna Mizzi, reports.

Fun at the Wanstead Festival, two fairs, guided walks by an art historian, a wide range of beautiful and astonishing art – they were some of the attractions of last month's successful Art Trail Wanstead.

Shop windows were transformed for the event. Wanstead Domestic Appliances went from white goods to hot colours with the Marsh Quilters. Glossy red lips and roses, from photo-realist painter Lucy Johnston, adorned Bairstow Eves. The Oxfam bookshop, showing work by its volunteer Ayan Basu, filled its windows with art books. Even the funeral director had a must-see window, with Lisa Atkin's illuminated glass angel light box.

This year's event – organised by Art Group Wanstead and backed by writer-actress Meera Syal – was supported by more venues than last September. Some of the most outstanding businesses in and around the High Street made art trail work a main window feature.

Appreciation by visitors from across the borough and further afield was shown by compliments and through the many pieces of work that were snapped up at the 76 venues that took part. "There's so much going on now in Wanstead," said Sue Shaw, of Hermon Hill. "The area is getting more and more interesting."

Mesmerising work by professional guest artists Janet McKay and Martin Jones was shown in Christ Church to impressed audiences over three days of the trail. The church has since asked to keep their exceptional art on its walls. Outside, Nigel Mantell demonstrated stone-carving, while Maggie Widdecombe and Karen Davies-James showed their land art. Balloon sculpture was a feature in a major West End store earlier this year, and for the trail it had a place in The George pub.

Art classes at Wanstead House, the Corner House and St Gabriel's Church used their centres to show work from keen amateurs to highly professional artists. St Gabriel's showed almost 250 pieces of art, including work from the local Aldersbrook Primary School. Other children's work was shown in Wanstead Library and on the fences of Wanstead Church School, to give us a glimpse of upcoming artists.

The trail was supported by this publication, Redbridge Council's Area One Committee and The George, Wanstead. Art Group Wanstead also produced 10,000 guides for the 15-day event.

So what is being planned for next year? That's the question people have been asking. The answer is in the hands of the various professional and amateur artists involved. The group plans for its events to be an evolving and surprising process. All you can be certain of is that it will be something to enrich the experience of living in and visiting Wanstead.

Visit www.artgroupwanstead.com for details of the latest art events happening in Wanstead


blog comments powered by Disqus