Tuesday 27 July 2021

St Mary Abchurch, Tuesday 10 August


Our next outing is to St Mary Abchurch, one of Sir Christopher Wren's City churches and the headquarters of the Friends of the City Churches.

The address is: St Mary Abchurch, Abchurch Lane, EC4 7BA. The nearest underground stations are Bank, Cannon Street and Monument. There are of course plenty of buses to the City.

Meet at 11 am just outside the church, which is open Monday to Thursday from 11 am to 3 pm. They are expecting us. Inside the church from 2nd to 20nd August there is a large exhibition, showcasing the work of master carver Grinling Gibbons, who carved the altarpiece. There is also a regular organ recital between 12:30 and 1:15 but we are welcome to stay and carry on drawing.

There is a lively pedestrian square outside including a coffee stall, and we can use the churches "facilities". There are plenty of cafes nearby for lunch or we could picnic in the square with home made or takeaway fare.

A small contribution to the upkeep of the church would be welcomed.

Pics to Janet Payne, janetat48ock@hotmail.com and my number for the day is 07815 772857.

Don't forget to send (me) Janet your pics from St John's Mare Street for posting on this blog

Sunday 18 July 2021

de Beauvoir Square 13 July 2021

Following torrential downpours and flooding in the underground, six artists made their way, on foot, by bike and even by public transport to de Beauvoir Square. The weather proved to be reasonably kind, no rain and fairly warm. The square was very pleasant and much enjoyed by locals and of course Art in the Park artists

The six accomplished a great deal of work, repaired to a local cafe for lunch with most people returning to the square afterwards. The stall selling Hackney Gelato at the cafe was unfortunately closed but that did not deter us.

Good work by all

Sue getting ready:

Images below:

Gafung Wong

Sara Meidan

Priscilla Worley

Diane Umemoto

Sue Lees

Janet Payne

with remote working from Gill Steiner

Don't forget 11 am Tuesday 27th July at St John's Hackney

Monday 5 July 2021

July Outings, de Beauvoir Square and St Augustine's Tower Hackney

 As we missed so many outings during lockdown your organisers have decided to go for two outings a month whilst the so called summer lasts and Covid restrictions allow.

Our next outing is to de Beauvoir Square on Tuesday 13 July. Meet at the square at 11 am by the rose garden. The square is quite small, so we can't miss each other. It is a charming late Georgian/early Victorian Square in an unusual Tudor/Gothic style. Three sides remain intact but the east side is a part of a Hackney housing estate. There are wonderful big plane trees, a rose garden and a children's play area. It is very much a local community hub. 

de Beauvoir Square is the centre of the de Beauvoir, owned by the Benyon estate. Wikipedia is fairly informative. The photo is one I have copied from the de Beauvoir news and is by Stephen King, who lives locally.

There is a short walk to 'Bread and Butter' on Enfield Road, a cafe with outdoor seating and loos. There are also cafes on Kingsland Road.

The nearest stations are Haggerston and Dalston Junction, both of which have overground trains from Highbury and Islington. Buses run along Southgate Road and Kingsland Road. The postcode for the square is N1 4LG

Then on Tuesday 27 July we meet at 11 am outside the tower of St Augustine's, Hackney, E8 1HT. This is all that remains of the original St John's Church and was founded by the Knights Hospitaller. The church was subsequently moved to the very nearby St John at Hackney, which shares St John's Garden, a park and a graveyard.

The Tower is at the north end of Mare Street, with many cafes nearby. The nearest station is Hackney Central, overground from Highbury. Useful buses are the 30 and 38.

Nearby are Clapton Square, Sutton House and a pretty row of Georgian Houses in Sutton Place.

Please send your pics for both events to janetat48ock@hotmail.com. Janet's number for the day is 07815 772857

Saturday 3 July 2021

Tuesday 29 June 2021: Visit to Newington Green, Islington

Nine artists arrived at Newington Green on a sunnyish morning.   We examined Maggie Hambling's statue for Mary Wollstonecraft, and our first reaction was that it was much smaller than we were expecting from the press photographs.  Those artists who thoroughly looked at the statue before they settled down, and while sketching it, became more and more impressed with it as they worked; they found they could see parts of the female body emerging from the chaos of the lower section, to reflect the idea that Mary Wollstonecraft was emerging from the lives of other women before her (or Everywoman is emerging from those who went before, which seems to be what Maggie Hambling intended).   Comments welcomed on this.   The silvery finish itself also reflected the trees which surrounded it in multiple shades of green, and (possibly) might also reflect the chapel which Mary attended which is still standing just outside the Green.   We are not sure whether the huge trees in Newington Green would have been seen by Mary herself at the end of the eighteenth century.   We were pleased to have had a close look at this deeply contemporary feminist and female-made artwork.

Others amongst us sketched the period buildings around Newington Green, including the Unitarian Chapel, and the Green more generally, and one person focused on the people enjoying themselves.  Unfortunately the rain came on at lunchtime, so that was that.   No further opportunities to revisit the statue in the light of our interesting conversation over lunch (obtained from Lizzy's Cafe on the Green, very nice).

Details of our next outing will follow shortly, in the meantime please enjoy our artworks.



Images above by Gafung Wong (left) and Priscilla Worley (right)

Images above by Sue Lees (left) and Tricia Sharpe (right)

Images below by Janet Payne

Four images above by Lindsay Topping

Images below by Gill Steiner (left) and Sara Meidan (right)

Park People by Alison Sandifer