For LiveElse[W]here, and at intervals throughout May 2014, artists Leena Chauhan and Pablo Perezzerate worked in residence in our project space LockUpNumber11, alongside artist Jordan McKenzie as co-curator – engaging residents across different spaces in sound, film, drawing, tailored-made performance in people’s homes and print. In parallel, several residents took up residency in LockUpNumber11 as a space to develop their own work and creative ideas.
LiveElse[W]here culminated in our LIVE LUNCH on May 31st, 12-3pm, during which Pablo prepared and shared Mexican food while simultaneously sharing family stories and memories, and Leena cooked Kenyan/Indian style food with her very own Mama. Attended by artists, curators, commissioners, local residents, and members of the public exploring the E17 Art Trail, LIVE LUNCH was also a space for seeing some of the work made by the artists involved in LiveElse[W]here, acting as a springboard for discussing the value of performance and visual artists working on estates such as those on which our project takes place in E17.
Feedback from a participant on the day: “When I walked down The Drive in Walthamstow yesterday afternoon after a lengthy drive of another nature, I knew from first glance how worthwhile it had been to be stuck in traffic from the scene that I was to become a part of in the coming moments. There was artistry not just in the wonderful array of colours decorating the area, but in the cohesion of colour and style of people coming together in exactly the way that I would have hoped, as an informal artist’s assistant connected with the work being produced by the drawing shed group, resident artists of this community.
Grey pillars were decorated with crimson tape, mounted with coloured lines from which hung dazzlingly produced prints in eye-catching hues, and covering the signs issuing commands to the residents about prohibitions, were prints of clothing labels from all over the world, that were worn by local residents, to draw attention to how much diversity was gathered in this small area. Fate could not have produced a more perfect day for the occasion. A lovely, warm, slightly breezy day compounded the warmth that I felt from people of various origins, artists and residents, people of advanced ages, people young and carefree enough to seemingly live effortlessly in the moment, people of all ages in-between, relaxing together after sharing a lunch that was a culmination of interactions on the estate for this project.
There is a world of art that is glitzy and commercial, that perhaps at times makes a deliberate effort to “be more accessible” that I personally feel somewhat alienated from. The artwork of this project, with which I was engaging today, was so much more than the money-making highly commercial stuff. It was real. It was meaningful to me. Pardon my wide-eyed lyrical reflections, but they are induced only because I find this so rare: it really touched me. I’m writing this partly just to capture, in the way I prefer, something of the experience, for my journal, and partly as a simple act of appreciation that I wish to share with the organisers and artists responsible for what I came to enjoy so thoroughly yesterday afternoon. So, the drawing shed with Bobby, Sally, Jordan, Pablo, Angelique, Esther, Jayne and Will and last and for me personally definitely not least, Leena: thank you, and may there be more of a similar nature to come, and take pleasure from.”
Amy Wevill from the E17 Art Trail also joined us for the LIVE LUNCH – read her blog piece here