In 2019 Waltham Forest was the first ever Mayor’s London Borough of Culture. Our opening show Welcome to the Forest was created in response to the themes of our year celebrating Radicals, Makers and Fellowship.
It was a unique event for all the family designed to celebrate our shared past, present and future in this much loved corner of north east London that we’ve chosen to call home.
Artists Greenaway & Greenaway presented Into The Forest, transforming Waltham Forest Town Hall with a high energy, audio-visual, site-specific film that tells the story of the borough through the eyes of Waltham Forest’s diverse communities. Greenaway & Greenaway collaborated with Mercury Music Prize-winning musician and producer Talvin Singh on the soundtrack. The Town Hall hosted a brand new commission from world-renowned, local electronic duo Addictive TV who presented Welcome To The Forest, a unique piece of music created by sampling audio and video of Waltham Forest’s rich and diverse musical talent.
Locally-based international festival curators Continental Drifts transformed Forest Road into a neon-lit, celebratory winter carnival featuring groups and individuals drawn from the borough and beyond in partnership with the legendary Gods Own Junkyard.
Lloyd Park was home to Nest, a brand new commission from artists Marshmallow Laser Feast; an epic lighting installation choreographed to a transcendental soundscape created by composer Erland Cooper working with over 1,000 participants from local schools and choirs.
International in scale and ambition but telling the local stories of this place, the opening event to our year as the very first London Borough of Culture was our chance to say to world: "Welcome to the Forest".
Check out the highlights, from videos to photography and interviews with the artists here.