Out of the blue

IMG_5451© Ruth Perry, © Katherine Poluck and © Yvette Rawson

Visit the bluebells in Wanstead Park this month, then enjoy them in art form at St Gabriel’s Church, says Art Group Wanstead founder Donna Mizzi

The bluebell wood in Wanstead Park attracts more publicity and draws in a greater number of visitors with each passing year. But this month, you will be able to enjoy the local English bluebells more than ever before. 

A Bluebell and Spring art display and event is being organised by Art Group Wanstead to celebrate the annual appearance of these enchanting flowers. And it will be held at St Gabriel’s Church on Park Road, Aldersbrook, just a short walk away from Wanstead Park’s bluebell wood, giving the opportunity to combine both attractions.

A wide range of art – including painting, drawing, photography, collage, mixed media and mosaic – will be on show from local artists (professional and amateur). Work by young artists from Make Me An Art Star art club and Wanstead Park Preschool group will also be displayed. The event is being supported by The Stow Brothers estate agents.

The event runs from Monday 17 April until Sunday 23 April. The biggest day will be Saturday 22 April, when there will also be fascinating workshops and art demos for adults and children, stalls, a bead shop, teas and scrumptious cakes. There will be no admission charges, but donations for St Gabriel’s Tin in a Bin will be greatly welcomed – either in the form of tinned food or cash contributions for the food bank.

On all open days, there will also be an art and craft Give, Take ’n’ Donate table with the money going to the food bank. This is your opportunity to spring clean your art cupboards. Good quality art and craft items of all sorts will be appreciated by visitors and artists, including art books, paper, picture frames and materials for adults and children.

Art Group Wanstead plans to have some refreshments available each day for local residents and walkers who want to pop in to enjoy the art. Perhaps it will encourage visitors to start some bluebell artwork of their own. 

It is estimated that the UK has up to half of the world’s total bluebell population. But don’t confuse our delicate, drooping bluebells with the Spanish version, which grows upright with flowers all around the stem. The hybrid, a mix of the British and Spanish, may gradually threaten the native bluebells’ existence. In our part of the UK, the most intense bluebell blooming time tends to be from mid-April up to early May. But keep your eye on local reports.

When viewing the flowers in the park, always stick to the log-lined paths: it can take years for crushed bluebells to regenerate in a trampled spot. A few minutes of thoughtless behaviour could easily impact this stunning wildflower spectacle.

Bluebell and Spring event times at St Gabriel’s Church, Park Road, E12 5HH:

Monday 17 April: 12 noon–3pm
Tuesday 18 April: 12 noon–3pm
Wednesday 19 April: show closed
Thursday 20 April: 2.30pm–4.30pm
Friday 21 April: 12 noon–3pm
Saturday 22 April: 11am–4pm
Sunday 23 April: 11.15am–1.30pm

For more information on Art Group Wanstead, visit wnstd.com/art

Author: Editor