Monday, 13 May 2013

Forest Hill Pride

Forest Hill is often completely overlooked by Londoners as they charge through it on the South Circular or opt to stop in Dulwich, it's richer neighbour.  But this weekend I felt an immense pride to live here.

As part of the Dulwich Festival the wonderful Havelock Walk Artists' studios, bang in the centre of Forest Hill, were open to the public this weekend.  We always make a point of going along to view the resident artists' work whenever they open up the Walk, and we are never disappointed by what we see.

I particularly love the work of Rebecca Molloy whose figurative paintings are extraordinarily powerful and who has created a wonderful mural on the wall leading into Havelock Walk. Sadly I don't have the financial clout to own one of her pieces, so it is a real joy to be able to freely appreciate one just by walking on the High Street.  Rebecca is definitely an artist to watch.

The weird and disturbing Dadaist inspired work of Stephen B Thompson, light-smith, is clearly done with an obsessive drive for perfection and is not to be missed, not only for its crazy beauty but demonstration of incredible technical skill.

Then there is the lovely Lenka Rayn H who we have bought photographs from several times over the last few years.  Lenka shoots from the heart and her works, many of which have a haunting loneliness and unique beauty, have an edge that speak to me in a way that other photographers have not done before.

Over the years David and I have bought many pieces of art.  We get such immense pleasure from them and never tire of them on our walls. When I think of everything I own and what I really value, the paintings and prints we have collected rank the same as family photos and letters in significance.  God forbid if we had a fire, I know what I would run to save.

Some of the pictures we own have risen in monetary value over the years but we have never bought on this basis, we've always just chosen things which speak to us, often in a way that we can't really articulate, and because of this their value to us has never changed.

It is also really satisfying and a huge privilege to help artists, in a minuscule way, to support themselves and maintain a lifestyle in which they can continue to create and improve their work; what a dull world we would live in without them.

There are many other wonderful artists who live and work in Havelock Walk.  If you live locally try and get down to see them, they will be open again next weekend.

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