Sunday, 5 September 2021

Wednesday 1st September: Visit to the Dalston Eastern Curve Garden in Hackney


The Dalston Eastern Curve Community Garden proved a popular venue for Art in the Park, 15 artists visited (though not all on quite the same day). The Garden is beautifully designed and maintained, and full of fascinating quirky features. Unfortunately, the day we went was yet another of this summer's no sunshine days, so there was no glancing light through the rows of trees. However, it did not quite rain, so art creation was unimpaired. We loved the "rus in urbe" nature of the Garden, which is a narrow sliver of green surrounded by buildings - and where there are no buildings there are big construction plans behind the high fences - and which reminded us of French impressionist paintings of people at tables under rows of trees.

We mostly worked on paper, but one artist went fully three-dimensional, utilising her own garden in situ. We focussed on many things, the umbrellas, the amazing coloured greenhouse, the splendid gabled entrance area, some of the wall-art, but we surely have not covered all the cameos to be seen within the garden. We very much appreciate the opportunity given to us by Marie Murray, the Garden's organiser, to come in during the hours set aside for community groups, and we would love to revisit, perhaps at a diffent time of year, in the future.

The Garden has to make its own way in the world, and its finances took a hit during lockdown when the cafe was shut. They need donations to keep going on a free-to-enter basis, so have set up a crowdfunding box with gofundme, and the link is here: It would be nice if people could put something in to this.

The Garden has been under threat from development since its beginning as a temporary feature for most of its existence, and there is ongoing consultation on the "Dalston Plan" to put in a mass of redevelopment and six hundred homes all around. The Council has now recognised the value to the community, and to the area, of the Garden, and it is no longer under threat of being built over or turned into a through route. The need for the trees and plants - and users - to have sufficient sunlight has also been recognised in the latest version of the Plan, but whether the developers will be able to resist adding a few more storeys here and there is debatable. The draft Dalston Plan is open for comment until 1 October 2021, the link is here I am sure additional comments on the need to avoid overshadowing would help.

One more comment on the day's adventures: a woman behind the cash machine in one of the local shops told one of us the sad story of her needle-phobic son, in his early twenties. He had refused to have the vaccine, had caught covid, had had it really badly, had spent time in an ICU (with lots of injections) and was now home with brain fog and exhaustion, long covid in fact.

Enjoy our artwork!

And do not forget our next sketch date: Tuesday 21 September, Highgate Cemetery East, Swains' Lane, Highgate N6 6PJ, see details in previous post and please check a map for location. (We have decided that postcodes may not be entirely helpful with open spaces.)

Images above by Gafung Wong

Images above by Diana Butement (left) and Priscilla Worley (right)

Images below by Diane Umemoto

Images below by Lindsay Topping

Image above by Daniel Lloyd-Morgan

Images above by Feroze Antia

Images below by Gill Steiner (left) and Feroze Antia (right)

Images above by Peter Colley (left) and Janet Perkins (right)

Images above by Tricia Sharpe (left) and Janet Payne (right)

Images above by Sue Lees (left) and Janet Payne (right)

Images above by Sue Lees (left) and Diana Butement (right - this drawing is an extra image from our recent visit to St Mary Abchurch)

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