I used to hate Eurovision when I was little, I simply didn’t see the point of it. Why bother watching crazy Europeans dancing around the stage singing about nonsense. However, from the age of about 23, after some persuasion from my other half, I relented, I gave in to the crazy. I embraced it, and these days I have no shame in admitting that I even look forward to it. There’s just no point fighting against the Eurovision is there, just slap on the glitter and go with it. Get moderately squiffy during the singing, then spend the rest of the evening shouting at the TV during the scoring, nul points, well that’s bloody political voting that is! Anyway, I digress, the reason I’m going on about Eurovision is because it took me to Hoe Street on Saturday, to Clapton Craft to be specific. We had a friend coming over in the evening to watch the contest at ours, so we popped to Clapton Craft to get the beers in. As we were on Hoe Street anyway, I suggested that we should pop in to the E17 Art House to have a look at their latest exhibition, Out And About by Hennie Haworth. I’m glad we did, because the illustrations are fantastic.
I first heard about the exhibition on twitter. I’d been tweeting with the Art House about something else and they told me it was coming up. I was going to try and make the opening night on the 12th May but work got in the way, as it often does. As I missed the opening, Saturday was the perfect chance to pop in and have a look. The colourful drawings are first glimpsed through the window of the Art House. Pegged to a washing line are illustrations of the Chequers, the Pie & Mash shop, and the sweet shop in the old printing works building on the market. On what was a relativity grey and cloudy afternoon, the vibrant colours of the illustrations really stood out, like fireworks against the night sky. As all of the drawings are of local buildings and places, I couldn’t wait to get inside and have a look at the rest.
Hennie, the artist behind Out & About, is a freelance illustrator based in Walthamstow. She has picked some very recognisable local landmarks to include in this, her first solo show. As well as the illustrations in the window, there are drawings of the International Supermarket, a butcher’s shop on the High Street and the temple on Forest Road. One of my favourite illustrations is of the William Morris Gallery. The grand old house stands in the background, and the foreground of the piece is filled with the most beautiful mix of flowers and foliage. A swirling mix of red, yellow and green that I’m sure big Bill himself would have been more than happy to hang on his wall.
Obviously, I’m an unashamed fan of Walthamstow, so anything that features local buildings is probably going to float my boat. But there’s something about these illustrations, the bright colours, the detail, that really seems to capture these buildings, the chaos of the market and the colour of Lloyd park perfectly. The exhibition runs to the 11th June, you can buy framed and unframed prints, or simply go and feast your eyes. Click here for more on the Art House, or follow this link to read more about the Artist.