Art everywhere, for everyone: The E17 Art Trail is back

Penny Rutterford, communications lead at Artillery, kicks off her new monthly column about the returning E17 Art Trail…

I think I speak for many when I say there’s not been much to look forward to recently. And so it is in the spirit of hope, and confidence in the impact of culture and creativity to bring us all together, that the E17 Art Trail – our much-loved biennial festival – will be taking place from 1st to 18th July.

A successful crowdfunding campaign with donations from more than 200 residents, artists and local business owners is helping us at Artillery to plan this year’s festival.

Each year of the E17 Art Trail, there are exhibitions and displays in homes, studios, windows, schools, faith spaces, cafes and shops… the E17 takeover list goes on!

We don’t know if our movements will still be restricted this summer, but we believe that our creative community will rise to the challenge and we are exploring safe ways for us all to take part and enjoy what will be on offer.

And you don’t need to be an artist to get involved. Silvana Gambini
is a local resident who has always enjoyed exploring the E17 Art Trail and who was inspired to team up with neighbours organising an exhibition along Wingfield and Randolph Roads.

Talking about her experience of the E17 Art Trail, she shared: “It brings the community together and totally changed how I feel about Walthamstow, even before I started taking part.

“We got to know so many people in our two roads and there were people at either end who had been long-term residents and they only got to know each other by taking part in the Art Trail.

“Loads of things came of that – like street parties and get togethers. That led to a ‘Neighbourly Natter’ WhatsApp group. People have become really connected and that has been of real benefit to support each other during Covid times.”

Initiated by Deborah Day in 2012, the Wingdolph Roads project has since seen exhibitions displayed in a safe, socially-distanced way in front gardens, windows and hedges. People of all ages and abilities join in because they enjoy a creative project. In 2019, around 30 households took part.

So, pop the dates in your diary, and why not start planning? Bring your neighbours together. Give it a go.

Images by Robin Sinha

The E17 Art Trail 2021 theme is Possible Futures. To register or donate, visit E17 Art Trail’s official website

To see the Wingdolph Roads exhibit, head to Facebook