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The Royal Drawing School Foundation Year 2018/19 End of Year Exhibition at Trinity Buoy Wharf from 14 June to 20 June 2019

Trinity Buoy Wharf is home to a number of creative organisations, one of these organisations is The Royal Drawing School which is holding its Foundation Year End of Year Exhibition 2018-19 between Friday 14 June – Thursday 20 June 2019.

The Royal Drawing School was founded in 2000 by HRH The Prince of Wales and artist Catherine Goodman as The Prince’s Drawing School but became the Royal Drawing School in 2014. The school was created to address the need for high-quality drawing teaching in the UK, they offering tuition and resources to art students, artists, children and the public.


The Royal Drawing School runs over 250 different full and part-time drawing courses each year for adults and children of all ages and abilities from three London campuses in Shoreditch, Chelsea and Trinity Buoy Wharf. The school also collaborates with a number of institutions including The National Gallery, The British Museum and the Royal Academy.

Photo copyright – The Royal Drawing School

The Foundation Year is often tailored to individuals planning to go on to study an arts subject at university. The course helps students to develop the making and thinking skills needed for the next level of study and provides a route to a number of creative disciplines.

So if you would like to take a trip to the wonderful world of Trinity Buoy Wharf and look at the work of talented artists, why not make a visit between the 14th June and 20th June. The exhibition is open from 11am – 6pm and admission to the exhibition is free.

Painting by Rollain Muanda

Artists involved are Rebecca Ashford, Joseph Barton, Rowan Bazley, Jessica Berry, Josephine Binney, Bella Blazwick-Noble, Lois Burton, Jojo Cole, Ashleigh Darling, Ella de Peretti, Bruno Diaz, Lily Elgood, Minnie Fawcett-Tang, Kezzie Florin-Sefton, Octavia Greig, Isgard Hague, Nancy Harper, Ruby Head, Jasmine Hewitt, Aisling Kamara, Sophie Langton, Elle Lycett, Fred MacKenzie-Williams, Niam Madlani, Rachel Marston, Ciara Mckenna, Rollain Muanda, Lily Orset, Nancy Pilkington, Virginia Serafini, Emilia Shafiee, Lily Smith, Sophia Sofianou, Lance Soleta, Finn Stevenhagen, Isis Taylor-Hudson, Natasha Thomas, Mollie Thompson, Jessie Urbach, Serena Walker, Scarlett Ward, Purdey Williams, Zhilin Xu (Grace), Onosiokhue Yakubu.

The Royal Drawing School also runs a Foundation Masterclass which is an intensive summer course for young artists aged 16-19, who are thinking about heading to art school. This offers unique opportunity to hone skills, build a portfolio, and experience an art school environment.

For more information about the exhibition and the Foundation course, visit The Royal Drawing website here

Travelling instructions to Trinity Buoy Wharf

Canning Town (Jubilee Line/DLR) is the nearest station, a 10 minute walk from Trinity Buoy Wharf. Take the ‘London City Island’ exit and cross the red bridge, follow the path through London City Island, and continue straight along the road, past the roundabout into Trinity Buoy Wharf.

 

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Island History Tapestries at Bancroft Road – Saturday June 1st 2019

Using tapestries to record history is nothing new, you just need to think about the Bayeux Tapestry and many other examples. However, many people would not know that some Isle of Dogs history has been recorded in this creative and decorative way. To find out more it will be worth making a visit to Bancroft Road to the Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives on Saturday June 1st 2019.

The Friends of Island History Trust will be hosting an event entitled Island History Tapestries which offers a rare opportunity to view the Island History Trust tapestries which are a series of wall hangings, designed and created in the 1980s and 1990s by lifelong residents of the Island. The tapestries include 75 hand-sewn pictures depicting moments in the Islands history.

Identity, 1988. Exhibition Flyer, Chisenhale Gallery.

The general idea behind the tapestries was to provide some banners for the popular Island History Open Days which was run by the Island History Trust. However, many volunteers thought that undertaking some arts and crafts was a great way to combat the stresses of the modern day. The Island History Trust Tapestry wall hangings were considered a good example of community arts practice and were viewed at various venues around Tower Hamlets including the Chisenhale Gallery in Bow in 1988.

A photo of the Island History Trust group, including The IHT Curator Eve Hostettler and Ada Price, their first Chairwoman and Bessie Boylett the second, they are shown working on the second 25 panel wall hanging. (c) FoIHT/Bessie Boylett 

The five wall hangings were created over a period of ten years at weekly group meetings starting in 1984. The first one is still held on the Isle of Dogs, in the history room at St John’s Community Centre in Glengall Grove.

Poster Image c) FoIHT/Ada Price 

Each wall hanging is made up of 25 separate panels portraying the Island from its earliest history, right up to its present day. Hop-picking, a favorite working holiday for many an East Ender was a popular theme but the panels give a broad perspective of late nineteenth and twentieth century Island life from Islanders themselves. The wall hangings were always a popular part of the Island History Open Days held at the Docklands Settlement and were always packaged with care ready for the next time they were used.

Photo (c) Friends of Island History Trust/ Sav Kyriacou  http://www.thamesdockers.org.uk/ History room portraits and first wall hanging made in 1984 on display in the FoIHT History room.

When the wall-hangings were complete, the IHT received a grant from Heritage Lottery, to take them to the Textile conservation Centre at Hampton Court. There they were repaired and provided with archival standard packaging. Bancroft Road was given the three larger tapestries and one that featured hop picking to safeguard on the closure of the Docklands Settlement in 2013 and they have been in storage with the frames and two files of material with photographs and information.

Photo (c) Friends of Island History Trust/ Sav Kyriacou  http://www.thamesdockers.org.uk – Today’s volunteers celebrate the work of the Island History Trust as well as being involved in and supporting projects on the Isle of Dogs and further afield.

These tapestries and materials will be available to view on the 1st June and visitors will be able to discuss with the  volunteers of Friends of Island History Trust of their own involvement with today’s Island community as they share the story of the Island History Trust and share their own memories and experience with today’s community.

With the rapid changes on the Island in the 1980s and 1990s, some residents on the Island knew the importance of preserving the history of the Island. This event illustrates that the Island History Trust and the Friends of Island History Trust often found and do find innovative and creative ways to preserve the history of the Isle of Dogs.

Many thanks to Debbie Levett, Secretary for Friends of Island History Trust for providing information and photographs about the tapestries and the event. If you would like to find out more about Friends of Island History Trust, visit their website at http://www.islandhistory.co.uk

Jeroen Swolfs: Streets of the World Exhibition in Canary Wharf – 2nd to 24 May 2019

In May, Canary Wharf presents Streets of the World, a outdoor exhibition of 195 large photo prints dotted around the Canary Wharf estate.

The exhibition is based on the work of Dutch photographer Jeroen Swolfs who spent seven years travelling the world and photographing the street life of 195 capital cities.

Swolfs travelled through the continents of Asia, Africa, North and South America, Europe and Oceania to record life in cities around the globe.

One of the inspirations for the journey was to explore about what a street means to society, education, wisdom, youth, experience, happiness, stories, food and so much more.

Streets of the World has already been shown in Dubai and Amsterdam, the exhibition at Canary Wharf will be its UK premiere.

The Changing Face of Trinity Buoy Wharf

Nobody can fail to be aware of the major developments in Canary Wharf and the Isle of Dogs but a recent visit to Trinity Buoy Wharf suggests that change is even coming to one of the more isolated parts of the area.

Orchard Place has been transformed by the City Island development and gradually the building works are moving near to Trinity Buoy Wharf with the Goodluck Hope development which will provide 804 new homes, commercial units, an education space, and a restored Grade II-listed Orchard Dry Dock.

The impression of isolation that has been a major characteristic of Trinity Buoy Wharf for centuries is gradually disappearing as lorries trundle up Orchard Place.

Keen to pay homage to its history, the name of some of the old firms are now displayed in the buildings and information boards give an interesting history lesson.

The area has a fascinating history, For nearly two centuries the Corporation of Trinity House occupied this site from 1803 to 1988, but even before then in 1760s Trinity House were storing buoys in nearby Blackwall. The site was mainly used for storing buoys and other marine equipment but gradually workshops were added for testing, repairing and making equipment.

The Lighthouse was not built to aid the Thames river traffic but was an Experimental Lighthouse which was designed by James Douglass, the one still standing was not the first one however there was another experimental lantern nearby built in the 1850s in which the famous scientist Michael Faraday carried out tests in electric lighting for lighthouses.

The present lighthouse was constructed in 1864 and was used to experiment with electric light and different coloured lights the results being checked at Charlton across the river. After the second world war the lighthouse was used for the training of Lighthouse keepers.

Outside the warehouse in memory of the work of Michael Faraday is a small shed called the Faraday Effect.

Lined up against the jetty is an old Trinity lighthouse ship which has been turned into a Music Recording Studio.

Old shipping containers have been painted and made into office blocks called Container City .

Fatboy’s Diner, a genuine 1940s American Diner from New Jersey has now been moved in front of the lighthouse.

For the last twenty years, Trinity Buoy Wharf has been developed into an Arts Quarter and a film by Rupert Murray here tells the story of how the location is now a workplace to over 500 people who often work in the creative industries. There are new proposals that includes the development of new buildings to provide additional floorspace, a new riverside walkway and public square.

As usual, I will try to keep up with new developments and chart some of the changes that will transform Trinity Buoy Wharf in the next few years.

A Trip to the Canary Wharf Wonderland by Jude Cowan Montague

Recently I published an article about Love on the Isle of Dogs, the latest work by writer, illustrator and broadcaster Jude Cowan Montague. I am delighted to say that Jude has produced a series of drawings that show Canary Wharf in a very different light. Canary Wharf may be the workplace for thousands of workers but there is no reason that children can turn it into something very different.

My daughter was born on the Isle of Dogs, in one of the self-builds on the Westferry Road. When she was young I would carry her to Mudchute Farm to see the animals. In the 1990s, Canary Wharf was not yet the glassy, chrome wonderland it’s become.

But I can imagine it as a strange kind of paradise for young eyes. There is the fairground ride of the DLR, the circuses, the huge towering, impossibly high mountains of buildings, so clean and crisp. It is a city that doesn’t obey ordinary suburban rules. And the docks, these wide expanses of water have a little magic of lakes, so deep, so close to the buildings. A touch of the Lake District here in London.


​Thinking about Canary Wharf and surrounding areas from a child’s point of view took me back to my childhood, visiting places with my father that you wouldn’t expect a child to like. He was fascinated by military history and there are photographs of me sitting on tanks, eating lollies wearing a pretty dress with my smug brother looking as proud as if he had won a battle. I remember how industrial places felt too, the great abandoned factories of the north. I am originally from Manchester and Bolton.​


​I also thought of my childhood reading and the imaginary places of storybooks. Swallows and Amazons made me think of playing pirates. Even the word circus was evocative and I thought of tightrope walking on the guide rails. The fountains look like someone should be playing in them and I hope with time that more people do, especially children of workers and those who live locally.​


​Canary Wharf, with its dramatic scale, could re-engage with our inner child’s perception. It can be a tool to look at the modern world as a kind of unrealistic dream. There is a unrealism to the brassy image of shiny commerce. In these pictures I have used its dynamic environment as a trigger of wonder.

Many thanks to Jude for the drawings and text and if you like her work, she is currently raising funds to publish her latest work, Love on the Isle of Dogs – a graphic novel.  If you would like to find out more or contribute, click the link here

Urban contemporaries at The Espacio Gallery, Bethnal Green – 5th to 10th March 2019

Over the last few years, I have followed with interest the work of Frank Creber and other East London artists who record their impressions of the ever changing East London cityscape and local people and their communities. Frank and fourteen other figurative painters are bringing some of their latest works for a new show at the Espacio Gallery, in Bethnal Green, East London.

The group of artists are known as the ‘Urban Contemporaries’ and have come together to investigate the urban experience through the medium of painting. Each artist have attempted to explore different aspects of the urban encounter through exploring scenes of everyday life.

Tennis Game, Frank Creber

The Exhibition features over 80 paintings providing glimpses into the very diverse visual experiences of fifteen painters, who chronicle the changing urban environment. Some use drawings and paintings as visual accounts to convey the disappearance of social and cultural landmarks, others interact with symbolic elements to transmit feeling, atmosphere and humanity, exploring the sense of intimacy and detachment, specific to cities.

East Ham Timescape, Ferha Farooqui

The artists taking part in the exhibition are Timothy Hyman RA, Sharon Beavan, Frank Creber, Ferha Farooqui, Grant Watson, Michael Johnson, Elizabeth McCarten, Melissa Scott-Miller, Michael Major, Annette Fernando, Susanne du Toit, Alex Pemberton, Charles Williams, Gehin Evans and Sarah Lowe.

If you would like a preview into the work of some of the artists, their work can be viewed on their website here

Location: The Espacio Gallery is located at 159 Bethnal Green Road, London, E2, near Brick Lane.

The Exhibition will take place from Tuesday 5th to Sunday 10th March

Opening Times: Tues – Sat 1-7pm Sun 1-5pm.

Winter Lights 2019 in Canary Wharf – 15 to 26 January 2019

If after the excitement of the festive period, you are suffering January blues, it might worth making your way to Canary Wharf for their Winter Lights Festival.The Winter Lights festival returns for a fifth year bringing together some of the most imaginative light artists to create spectacular artworks, installations and experiences.

Some old favourites return and each year the festival seems to get bigger and better. The festival is great for all the family with plenty to entertain the children.

Although the festival does not open till the 15th, here is a sneak preview of what to expect.

1: Prismatica by RAW Design in collaboration with ATOMIC3, Jubilee Plaza

Prismatica turns heads with the countless colourful reflections made by its giant prisms. Visitors can walk amongst them to see city life in every colour of the spectrum and spin the prisms to make them dance.

2. BIT.FALL by Julius Popp, Chancellor Passage, Middle Dock

The speed at which information is sourced, exchanged and updated in our modern society is almost inconceivable, and more ephemeral than ever before. The work BIT.FALL translate this abstract process into an experience for the senses as an ever-changing cascade of words, derived from a live newsfeed on The Times website, falls down on a wall of water.

3. Two Hearts by Stuart Langley, projection in Newfoundland Place, viewing point at Cubitt Steps
As the structure of this iconic residential skyscraper grows, lower level windows flicker and shine with light to momentarily form two illuminated and transient hearts, symbolic of the life and energy the building is poised to support.

4. Whale Ghost by Pitaya, Cubitt Steps

This monumentally-scaled kinetic sculpture echoes the marine mammal and fossil skeletons seen in natural history museums. Whale Ghost invites the visitor to spend a moment thinking about the impact of mankind on our biodiversity.

5. Sasha Trees by Adam Decolight, Westferry Circus

Westferry Circus becomes a magical winterscape as we illuminate this beautiful location with glowing fir trees. The striking neon colours of the trees create a fantastic contrast with natural foliage surrounding them.

6. Blue Neuron by Zac Greening, Columbus Courtyard
Blue Neuron is a beautiful kinetic light installation built from reworked heat-treated plastic bottles. Zac’s inspiration comes principally from nature. Working in a wide range of media, from discarded plastic bottles to laser projections, his works often comment on issues such as sustainability, environmental degradation and consumption.

7. Time & Tide By Paul & Pute, Columbus Courtyard

Time & Tide, with its hourglass design and colours inspired by nature, aims to remind us of the urgency of halting the plastic pollution of our oceans. Its form tells us that time is running out to repair this problem before the damage to our planet is irreversible.

8. Heofon Light Maze by Ben Busche of Brut Deluxe, Cabot Square

Heofon is an old English word for the sky. This fascinating light maze is based on triangular geometry which reflects and shifts light rays along the entire colour range of a rainbow. On the outer perimeter the panels are covered with a mirror film converting the interior into an infinity room.

9. Colour Moves by Rombout Frieling Lab, Adams Plaza Bridge

Colour does not exist. Colour is in the mind. It is the result of complex processes of adjustment and comparison. Colour Moves is an immersive installation of pigments that react with specific wavelengths of light.

10. Recyclism by Oskar Krajewski /Art of OK, Crossrail Place, Level 0

Artist Oskar Krajewski is working towards a new chapter in art history – Recyclism. Recyclism is a platform for artists and like-minded people who care about our global environment. Oskar’s sculptures are made almost entirely of recycled materials such as unwanted toys, obsolete electronics, plastic packaging or any everyday use objects.

11. Aura by Ronan Devlin, North Dock, Adams Plaza

Aura creates a stunning spectacle on the water by combining art and technology. Camera sensors capture participant’s form and feelings and mirror them in real time onto a giant water spray in the dock.

12. We Could Meet by Martin Richman, Crossrail Place, Quayside Level -1

A permanent installation of more than 500 illuminated acrylic rods installed in a water channel, this engaging art work was commissioned by Canary Wharf Group in 2015.

13. Vena Lumen by Fontys Vena Lumen team, Crossrail Place Roof Garden, Level -1
Vena Lumen means pulsing light. Take a seat on this stunning bench, place your hand on the sensor and watch it transform your heartbeat into dancing light.

14. Enchanted Connections by Tine Bech Studio, Crossrail Place Roof Garden, Level 1

Enchanted Connections invites visitors to the Crossrail Place Roof Garden to interact with light and each other in an imaginative way.

15. Last Parade by Alexander Reichstein, Crossrail Place Quayside, Level -1

Last Parade is a site-specific video installation that creates a wildlife reserve filled with rare animals and birds, where the shadows of endangered and threatened species march perpetually along the Canary Wharf Riverside, slowly fading out as their march ends.

16. Lightbench by LBO Lichtbank, Canada Square Park

These firm favourites light up Canada Square Park every evening as part of the permanent collection. The benches subtly change colour and are lined up to create a pleasing spectacle along the pathway.

17. Submergence by Squidsoup, Montgomery Square

Submergence is a large, immersive, walkthrough light experience. This is the largest version ever shown, comprising of some 24,000 individual points of suspended light, that transforms the space into a hybrid environment where virtual and physical worlds coincide.

18. Light, Stone, Pavement by Raoul Simpson, Jubilee Park

Light, Stone, Pavement is a playful, contemporary take on the simple game of hopscotch, where the chalk lines are replaced by a glowing outline of electric luminescent ribbon triggered by the player’s progression through the game.

19. Flow by Squidsoup, Jubilee Park

Flow is a series of explorations using dynamically controlled points of light to visualise the flow of energy, data and objects. The piece is inspired by the myriad of cultural references to energy and flow patterns, from Aboriginal dreamtime paintings to Japanese wave and ripple designs.

20. Floating Islands by Mürüde Mehmet, Jubilee Park

Community artist Mürüde Mehmet will be working with local children in Tower Hamlets to construct colourful organic floating forms made from recycled bottles. The creations will be displayed on the running water streams at Canary Wharf, encouraging awareness of how much waste is created by single use plastic water bottles.

21. Angels of Freedom by OGE Collective, Jubilee Place

These beautiful illuminated wings travel around the world, connecting people by allowing everyone to become an angel in their own way.

The Festival takes place from Tuesday 15 – Saturday 26 January 2019 between 5-10pm throughout Canary Wharf, the festival is free to attend.