‘AN EAST-END LOVE AFFAIR’….
So, yours truly has returned from swooping and dipping upon the mighty back of a modern-art and musical mistral! Just as this meteorological thermal is quickly-accompanied by clear and fresh weather, so too, has my mental after-party been partnered by crystallised, cognitive art-assimilation!
Utterly wooed have I been, by the dapper-gent of East London’s multi-disciplinary art-scene..and I have fallen for every magnificent manifestation, in both conscious and subconscious realms. Frankly, the area oozes creativity…. From urban to fine-art, street-style to avant-garde gear, old-skool to nu-skool, game-changing musical-movements, the E.C’s got it covered!
Invitational rose petals had already been fluttering my way, from ‘The Shoreditch Fashion Show’… as described in my subsequent post ‘The Arts go OFF-the-BEAT-en Track’… However, the tokens of affection have continued to adorn my artistic pathways in the guise of such events as ‘The Other Art Fair’*, which was another world, the adjoining ‘Moniker Art Fair’ which was brain-crunchingly breath-taking.. and a one-off video-launch of the effortlessly vibrant ‘Alpha Romeo’, from one of electro-pop’s finest purveyors, M.T!
We begin the beguine, under the industrial roof of ‘The Old Truman Brewery’, where I was one amongst an intense, rush-hour-sequence of excited visitors, weaving their way along corridors, bearing the brilliance of a superlative spectrum of talent, expressed through exhibits of painstaking-perseverance and time-honoured, yet idiosyncratic, technique.
Like a theramin, my heart-strings were plucked by the invisible fingers of visual-art, as a domino of pieces from emerging and established portfolios, brimful of imagery, alike, fell into the open arms of my anticipation. The beauty of these East-London flora had me fluttering from genus-to-genus of urban, photographic, live, printed, filmic, painted, embroidered, collaged, stencilled and oh-so-fine art media! In fact, at every turn, so high a standard of work was on display, that I wondered just how the respective gallerists had chosen which of their artists to showcase. ‘Was this how it felt to choose a favourite amongst a brood of children?’ I wondered! Well, the joy for me, was that I didn’t have to select… I simply succumbed to this ever-more enticing visual fayre, in all of its beauteous glory and let my internal, creative-chorale decipher its own descant of mounted offerings!
Thus, the coloratura of crystallised global-landscapes of Jaykoe, gave way to semi-quavers of surreal photographic re-interpretations of water by Angelika Spranger, in turn, complemented by M.J. Forster’s sotto voce, watercolour wonder-world, followed by the crescendo of Matt Small’s multi-layered car-bonnet creations, Keira Rathbone’s staccato, type-writer-work, the ralentando of 3-D relief, by the outstanding Jo Peel, the harmonies of acute attention-to-detail, wielded by Mark Powell’s pen-art and a collaborative coda of riffs-on-black-and-white, as manifested by Zeus and T.L.P, in their transplantations of outdoor urban-landscapes to indoor art-scapes! A relentless downbeat of hip-hop sonically-booming through the space, often caused my senses to intensely focus-pull upon each moment and, as the days progressed, the revelation dawned that, in fact, each moment was a happening, waiting to unravel… It took a second visit, on a comparatively calm Sunday afternoon, for my own voice to add its bespoke grace-notes, the result of which, are wrapped within this written solo.
Gifts from East-London did not come in the shape of objets d’arts, alone! Oh no! Indeed, my promenade was to continue along the Ridley Road market, to a video-premiere party at a delightfully quirky Carmen-Miranda-esque establishment, by the name of ‘Wu’s’. At personal invitation of synth-pop supremos, ‘M.T’ (which stands for ‘Many Things’), and in defiance of the imminent arrival of Hurricane Jude, I accepted… Well, after all, it would have been Wu’d not to!!
At first glance, what with all of the stalls neatly-housed for the night, you would have been forgiven for wondering whether you had taken an errant turning but I had faith in my East-London chaperone and my faith was duly rewarded with an evening of all-consuming fun, in an intimate atmosphere of warmth and hearty welcomes, more akin to a close-knit family gathering than that of an inaugural video-preview of a critically-acclaimed musical outfit! From the outset, Michael, the lead singer, was the perfect host…A willowy figure, with shoulder-length, chestnut-brown hair and deep pools of super-friendly, yet intense, eyes, he cut a dash in a three-quarter camel mac, opened just enough, to reveal a loose, black, scoop-necked jumpsuit, with its long sleeves hinting at the overcoat’s cuffs. Affectionately-known to his friends as the ‘white, fluffy, cloud’ because of his love of wearing white on-stage, it was evident that his quiet humility had long-inspired many of whom made up the guests that night. As the venue became increasingly filled, I sensed that the overriding energy revolving around the room was of friendship, support and love. The video, was joyfully reflective of just such emotion, evolving from band close-ups, to an all-out party-scene, featuring many of the people in the amassed crowd. As I left, amidst a flurry of hugs, I remember feeling as if I had been some long-lost member of the family, at a celebratory reunion!
I walked into a waiting evening of sullen storm-clouds, apt for precipitation, M.T’s ‘Alpha Romeo’ the more-than-welcome sonic invasion into my soul’s soundtrack and a heartfelt acknowledgment that, whilst the whirlwind-of-wooing was over, this was no fly-by-night notion of affection. On the contrary, yours truly had been veritably won-over by my dapper-gent that is East London and marks the renaissance of a relationship, the kind of which, I am certain, will last forever.
© AFROW2013-2019 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
: www.facebook.com/ridleyroad (Wu’s)
*Heartfelt thanks to Paget PR for organising my invite to the amazing event!