– EXPERIMENTAL ARTIST GARY STEWART LEADS A TEAM OF ARTISTS & LOCAL RESIDENTS TO END 2016 ON A NOTE OF LOVE AND OPTIMISM –
– THE ART INSTALLATION, DEVISED BY THE ST MARY’S ARTS COLLECTIVE, IS CALLED ADVENT(US) : ANOTHER WORLD IS POSSIBLE –
Following a year of political shock and distressing world news, the St Mary’s Arts Collective at St Mary’s Church in Walthamstow is teaming up with experimental artist Gary Stewart to bring some high-tech optimism to E17 this Christmas.
Artists and local people have been invited to submit work for Advent(us): Another World is Possible, a huge art installation which will turn the south-facing wall of St Mary’s Church, the ancient parish church in Walthamstow, into an advent calendar of love and hope for the entire Walthamstow community.
Each evening for the first 24 days of December (full schedule here), Stewart will use projection mapping to display artwork from local people – images which explore the reality of the present and cast a vision of hope for the future. The church, which has existed in one form or another for 900 years, will become an undulating digital canvas the size of a tennis court for thousands of people to experience the free artwork first-hand.
Rev Vanessa Conant, Rector of St Mary’s and the Parish of Walthamstow, said, “Advent is a time of anticipation, not only in terms of anticipating the birth of the Christ child, as the ancient story is re-told and remembered, but also of anticipating a future time when wrong is made right and love wins out – a longing for peace and justice and for a better future; hopes shared by people around the world, especially in 2016, as millions flee war-torn countries. I hope the art collective’s incredibly creative interpretation of advent will bring a vision of peace and optimism to the people of London at the end of a difficult year.”
Advent is a significant time of the year for hundreds of millions of people as it represents the ‘coming’ (the Latin word adventus means ‘coming’) of Christmas.
Advent(us): Another World is Possible brings together professional and amateur artists, writers, school groups and local organisations representing people of all faiths and none. Each week, one or more of the projections will also feature a person, object, event, recording, workshop, concert, or simple reflection inside the church, as the door to the church will be opened for 1-2 hours (similar to opening the door on an Advent Calendar) that evening, inviting people into the building to engage more deeply with the exterior ‘calendar’ image for that day. Free hot drinks will also be served each evening to outdoor spectators, and the projections will run from 1st December to 24th December, 6pm – 10 pm.
For more information, please contact Peter Sigrist, 07720 056 981 or email
About St Mary’s Arts Collective
The St Mary’s Arts Collective is a diverse group of artists and arts-related professionals who attend St Mary’s Church, Walthamstow. Advent(us) : Another World is Possible mirrors the overall aims of the St Mary’s Arts Collective, which is to open up St Mary’s Church for arts-related uses, to celebrate E17’s diversity, to foster creativity and form new friendships, to create curiosity and wonder and to challenge negative stereotypes. Follow the Advent(us) project on social media at facebook.com/StMarysArtsCollective, or on Twitter @StMarysArtsColl.
About Gary Stewart
Gary Stewart is an experimental visual and sonic musician based in London. With artist Trevor Mathison he is part of Dubmorphology; together, they make art installations which examine the relationship between culture, history and technology. As Bantu, Gary performs with Asian Dub Foundation bassist Aniruddha Das in the Dubnoiz Coalition exploring the outer limits of improvised bass, noise and distortion. Formerly Head of Multimedia at Iniva, Institute of International Visual Arts (1995 – 2011), he is currently Artist Associate at People’s Palace Projects, an arts organisation established at Queen Mary, University of London, working to extend the understanding of the transformative powers of art to progress justice through individual, collective and institutional change. Gary has performed at the Tate Modern and has a show at the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall in early 2017.
About St Mary’s Church
St Mary’s is home to a diverse and inclusive Christian community of 300+ living the way of Jesus and growing in love. Its goal is to be a centre of ministry in East London and a focal point of activity in Walthamstow: a place where interesting and transformative things happen. With its sister churches St Mary’s enjoys a range of Sunday worship and midweek activities for people of all ages and backgrounds. It runs parenting, marriage and Alpha courses, helps people out of debt through its Christians Against Poverty centre, advocates for affordable housing and other issues through its partnership with Citizens UK, supports the Forest Churches Emergency Night Shelter and reaches out to the High Street through its sister church, which operates as a market stall. Located in the heart of Walthamstow Village, and part of the Church of England, Diocese of Chelmsford, St Mary’s is the historic parish church of Walthamstow and has been a centre of local life for nearly a thousand years.
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