If you’re one of our London-based readers, there’s a strong chance that at least a few of your mates have swapped New Cross, Peckham or Camberwell for Walthamstow in the past few years.
“Move up here,” they tell you, their faces a picture of contented smugness. “We’ve got a tube station, a massive wetland, and a Lidl,” they say. You nod politely, happy to return to your little transpontine enclave, where the streets are leafy and night hums with the sound of parakeets.
That might change this coming June, when Waltham Forest celebrates being crowned the first London Borough of Culture by inviting the likes of Barbara Kruger, Cory Arcangel and Oscar Murillo to east London on 22 June for a night of art-based frivolities.
We’re told that the 2019 Art Night programme has been inspired by “local pop group East 17’s 1993 pop song It’s Alright” which is sadly neither a cover of the Chicago house classic by Sterling Void nor the Pet Shop Boys’ cover of said classic.
Still, the Helen Nisbet-curated bash will see Kruger unveiling a new large-scale outdoor commission in Walthamstow, while Arcangel has teamed up with the wonderfully named organist Hampus Lindwall to compose a new piece which will be hammered out on the instrument housed within St Mary’s Church.
“This year, artists are making work in the places people shop, learn and socialise – often collaborating with those who use them,” says Nisbet. Which explains why Walthamstow market – Europe’s largest outdoor one – will play a pivotal role in the night’s happenings.
Other exhibitors include Christine Sun Kim, Frances Stark, and Rosie Hastings. Supplementary events will be taking place at Coal Drops Yard in King’s Cross.