A NEW project for Waltham Forest’s Borough of Culture celebrations sees a series of exhibitions and events take place to celebrate diversity, family and love.

Grandad’s Island: from Page to Pavement is a project inspired by local author and illustrator Benji Davies’ award-winning book, Grandad’s Island. The book has been translated into 35 languages, reflecting the rich diversity and culture of Waltham Forest.

This project, commissioned by Waltham Forest London Borough of Culture 2019 and presented by Artillery, the team behind the E17 Art Trail, invites local residents and artists to take part however they choose - from decorating their own gardens as tropical islands to creating giant birds parading in the streets - bringing the story of Grandad’s Island to life in every corner of the borough. Free events are taking place across the borough from Friday, October, 4 to Sunday, October 13, with the finale event in Langthorne Park on Sunday, October 13, from 12pm to 6pm featuring dance, a procession, creative workshops, multilingual storytelling and a community feast.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

Other events include creative workshops and exhibitions such as Island Storytime for tiny tots at independent bookshop Phlox Books in Leyton on Saturday, October 5, 4pm to 5pm, and The Babel Project at The Mill on Sunday, October 6, 2.30pm to 4.30pm. The Babel Project is multilingual storytelling with guest reader Benji Davies to share Grandad’s Island in multiple languages, celebrating the many nationalities that come together at The Mill. Benji will also be reading from his book Grandad’s Island at Higham Hill Library on Saturday, October 5, 10.30am to 11.30am and at the finale event in Langthorne Park on Sunday, October 13.

On Saturday, October 12, everyone is invited to join “Grandad’s crew” at Langthorne Park, with free drop-in artist-led creative workshops from 2pm to 5pm that will transform the park into an island paradise.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

Sam Hunt, Creative Director of Waltham Forest London Borough of Culture 2019, said: “The enthusiasm we have seen from local residents who want to be creatively involved in projects during our year as Waltham Forest London Borough of Culture has been extraordinary. This project provides an opportunity for each person in their community to create something small that will contribute to something greater, whilst at the same time celebrating our generations and cultures.”

Grandad’s Island: from Page to Pavement will deliver commissions, working with Artillery associate artists and residents to co-create work relating to the themes of the book. Commissions include a Sound Symphony created by pupils at Willow Brook and Riverley Primary Schools led by artist Helen Maurer, a Story Den crafted by artist Jane Frost with residents of Wood Street, and Grandad’s Shed, a micro-cinema screening films created by Alexandra McKenzie with young people in Leyton Manor Park.

Visit wfculture19.co.uk