Led by locally based artists with the support of Creative Enterprise Zone funding and co-chaired by Brentford-based artist Mr Mr Pearce and Robin Vaughan-Williams of Creative Network West, this exciting new event brings together the creativity of artists from Brentford and across the borough of Hounslow for a weekend of open studios and exhibitions.
And we don’t just talk the talk. We walk the walk, too – as you’ll see when you stroll along the Brentford Art Trail, a sign-posted one-mile pedestrian route that connects 8 art venues exhibiting over 50 artists including painters, ceramicists, printmakers, hat makers, mosaic artists, jewellery makers, poets, musicians and sculptors.
As it meanders alongside The Thames, the Creative Mile not only offers visitors inspiration (and the opportunity to make a shrewd acquisition), it also affords them a rare glimpse of Brentford’s industrial past as well as a snapshot of today’s vibrant, creative riverside community.
The truth is, if you threw a stick out of a window in Brentford, the chances are you’d hit an artist (or a musician, or a designer, or a performer). But for too long it’s been London’s hidden secret. And we think it’s high time that changed.
Co-chair and artist Mr Mr Pearce says, “I originally got the idea of a Brentford art trail when I had a studio on Johnsons Island. One of the things I noticed was how many people coming to our open studios would say that they had lived in the area for years and never knew we were there. This got me thinking about how we could increase awareness and I thought maybe the best way would be by joining forces with other artists, museums and art centres so we did something together. Brentford has a great creative community, and I hope that this event will give artists working in the area a chance to showcase their work to a wider audience and has the potential to become an annual event that will grow year by year.”
Brentford photographer and head of marketing for Creative Mile, Gwen Shabka, also sees great potential: “Our proximity to 3 waterways (The Thames, The Brent and the Grand Union Canal) plus our privileged access to an industrial waterway infrastructure that is largely intact not only binds our artistic community together, but also has a way of uniquely influencing out work”.
Robin Vaughan-Williams & Mark Pearce (co-chairs), Gwen Shabka (marketing), Farah Qureshi (press), Lucy Thurley (Creative People & Places), Sarah Stanley (Studio Flox), Monica Boxley (Redlees artists), Guy Lambert (Hounslow council), Neil Lemaire (Water & Steam artists), Emma Canterbury (Water & Steam Museum/family activities), Ginette Kentish (Musical Museum), Angela Chan (Johnson's Island), Sangeeta Weatherley (pop-up artists).
Thanks to Cameron Mark and Anita Edwards for their assistance with social media, web maintenance, and volunteer co-ordination, and to Daisy McMullan for putting together our social media strategy.
Creative Mile is supported by funding from the Creative Enterprise West open studios programme, itself a part of the Mayor of London Creative Enterprise Zone scheme. It has also received funding from the Welcome Back fund (EBRD/HM Government), the music programme was funded by Hounslow Council's Thriving Communities Fund, and sponsorship was received from The Brook pub. Creative Mile acknowledges the support of Creative People and Places (Arts Council England), Watermans, Octink, Thorgills, Ballymore, Brentford Children's Centre, and all the venues, artists, and volunteers that are participating in this inspiring event.
Thanks also to Simon Inc and Jules Kaye for doing an amazing job with the branding and website!
• To showcase the creativity of Brentford
• To provide a platform for artists to show their work, build an audience, and promote and sell their work
• To create a local event that connects residents and the creative community as we come out of a national lockdown
• To provide opportunities for artists across Hounslow which is open to all art forms
• To build the trail into a regular festival with scope for further development
• Art is at the heart of the event
• Everyone is welcome
• Not for profit
• To encourage self-expression
• To run an environmentally aware event to be COVID safe