• Extract from Johnny Song, by Jim Kenworth
  • Where are You Going?, survey at Stratford Station conducted on 28 April, 12-2.55pm with 30 people
  • The Newham Striders map with Key to Points of Interest
  • The Newham Striders: Bob Bicheno
  • A Stratford Walk with Chris Crook of Newham Striders
  • West Ham Allotment Society
  • Origami Competition
  • Thought for Stratford
  • Snail by Asghar Malik
  • Lady Lucy’s Station Portraits
  • Is Your Glass Half Full or Half Empty?, survey at Stratford Station conducted on 28 April, 12-2.55pm with 30 people
  • The Manager, Interview with Mike Smith, former Group Station Manager for Stratford Group
  • How Often Do You Dance?, survey at Stratford Station conducted on 28 April, 12-2.55pm with 30 people
  • What Has Happened To Robert? Has He Gone Off The Rails?
  • Robert Competition
  • Views from The Railway Tavern
  • What Lies Beneath … Morrisons Car-Park?
  • Dreams of Stratford
  • Last Chance To Have Your Suit Made By Salvatore
  • Nusound 92FM Presenter Number 1: Nimi Sagoo
  • Join The Stratford Grapevine Team!
  • Radio Russ’s Quiz Corner
  • Crossword
  • Grapevine Recipes
  • Match The Blue Of The Construction Hoardings
  • Featured Football Team: Midfield FC
  • Hackney Marshes
  • Which Football Team Do You Support?, survey at Stratford Station conducted on 28 April, 12-2.55pm with 30 people

These are the headlines from a paper called The Stratford Grapevine I found on the DLR into work this morning. It’s part of a project by Lucy Harrison who’s an artist, and it’s sponsored by Art on the Underground. So turns out it’s Art after all. The location of the publication as ‘art’ risks flattening its effect. It’s dangerous territory because you feel like it might come already combed through with/for meta-readings until there’s nothing genuine left of it.

But I’m inclined to trust this project. It seems to come at you with open arms. Stratford station is one of those places I only know about because of my tube map and the connecting trains I have to catch from some of its platforms. So it’s genuinely interesting to suddenly read about the things that happen around the station, and to be directly invited to join in: there are maps and start-times of local guided walks, contact numbers and websites, competitions you can enter, details for joining local clubs and associations, and  lots of options for contributing to future issues.

Because of the Liverpool project I’m starting to work on, I’m beginning to think a lot about critically engaged art projects made with and within a local community without being patronizing or leaving the public behind at any point. I like the Stratford Grapevine because it isn’t fussy about where the ‘art’ is, and there doesn’t seem to be any need to ask. It seems to negotiate this territory between critically and publicly engaged artwork with real ease, and there’s no suggestion of compromise in either direction.

Nick pointed out Rikke Hansen’s article Things v Objects in Art Monthly and I’m going to have a look at it now. I think its real focus is elsewhere, but it starts with the “so-called socially engaged art practices of the late 1990s and the 2000s” in which “the artist is an engineer of situations, setting up contexts in which passive spectators become active participants and co-creators of the work in question”.

Advertisements