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Harvest Festival Time ...

It's that time of year again and the Harvest Festival is looming!

This FREE EVENT is organised by the Friends of Abbey Gardens and will be taking place on Saturday 17 September 1pm - 4pm 
Abbey Gardens, Bakers Row, London E15 3NF

• Take part in the 2011 Vegetable Games 
• Enter our sport-themed cake or vegetable sculpture competitions 
• Chef Beatrice Millner will be cooking produce from the garden for everyone to enjoy 
• Enjoy live jazz music all afternoon from G & G Jazz Trio 
• Garden tours and gardening tips from Hamish, our garden club leader 
• Tea and cakes for small donations for the garden 
• Kids’ activities related to the garden Activities are free of charge.

Food, drink and honesty stall produce are available for donations. Cake competition entries to be prepared in advance. Vegetable sculptures can also be created on the day.

Nice botanical busk

...aboard the Floating Cinema with nature guru and personal hero of mine, Richard Mabey. I now know a lot more about weeds, and we rounded off the day with a half in an East End pub and a fascinating chat about the future of the countryside and other little issues on our minds.....

Photo: Nina Pope

Fancy Dress Fantastic Mr. Fox

We had an amazing turn out for Fantastic Mr. Fox shown from the Floating Cinema right outside Three Mills studios where the film was made ... you can see some more pictures from the night here.

Abbey Gardens Spring Event, Photo: Nina Pope

We're in the Yellow Book!

Yes we have achieved what some see as the ultimate gardening accolade - we have been accepted by the NGS (National Garden Scheme) and next year Abbey Gardens will appear in the all important yellow book. Put it in your diary now - Saturday the 8th of September! 

Olympic Cup Cakes by Claire Gevaux

Olympic Cup Cakes

I can't actually remember now where/when/how the idea for serving themed cakes for the Outsider Guides to the Olympic Park occurred. However, Team-Floating-Cinema ran with it in a big way and Rosie Heafford (who also works at UP projects) took on the challenge of creating any 'themed' cake the speakers leading the tours desired (see here for yesterdays creation for Iain Sinclair). The production of the themed cakes has at times threatened to overwhelm all other creative development with Susie & Jemima going a cake-first-routine-second route.

It seems though that they are not the only ones obsessed with the idea of Olympic-themed cake ... on the 'test tour' into the park Claire from the ODA design and planning department suddenly chipped in that she'd been asked to make Olympic themed cakes for a party at the office ... I'd say she more than rose to the challenge -here you can see a fuller impression of her comprehensive approach!

I'm now thinking we have to include a cake maker in our 'Unexpected Moments of Everyday Brilliance' films ... I can see that slow motion piping nozzle action even now.

Downloadable version of our film 'Bata-ville: We Are Not Afraid of the Future'

Via a circuitous and fortuitous route involving a nice visitor to Grizedale Arts' HQ at Lawson Park, we find our first film 'Bata-ville: We Are Not Afraid of the Future' now distributed in Europe via the fantastic online film hub Doc Alliance. There's even an enjoyably Czech typo in Nina's surname...
The amount you pay (between 1.5 and 5 Euros - a snip) to watch varies by quality / viewings / stream or download and though I'm biased of course, it really is the kind of site where you can lose hours watching the kind of quality films that are nearly impossible to catch outside festivals.

And in case you're wondering we do in the end get some of the payment ;-) so it works out for little filmmakers like us....

Boat Life - it's intense

I practically never leave the floating cinema at the moment as the programme is very intense. Despite a few hitches with a lot of floor mopping and sporadic downpours, we are generally having a fantastic time. I highly recommend our screening tomorrow night of the work from Fugitive Images - especially if you are local to Hackney.

I think the highlight so far for me has been A Smaller Sound, A Bigger Crowd by Ian Giles which took folk song and a fictional tale deep into the heart of Docklands. During the first performance we scooted past the biggest boat ever to moor in the dock and came into Middle Dock via a raised bridge in the road. I listened to the sound of Sam Lee's ballad and thought how beautiful it was to focus just on his voice and the story of the Docklands Bell, below the city workers looking down from the bar terrace above. On the other side of the dock we were serenaded by a small group of hand bell ringers - their modest sound managing to pierce and interrupt the dominant culture and noise of the literally towering surroundings.

You can see more images of Ian's work here.  

Graffiti Tours reviewed

There's a nice blog here about the Graffiti Tours we held on our Floating Cinema at the weekend, based at the very impressive Folly for a Flyover near Hackney Wick.

When I got home after the tours, our cheese-maestro artist friend Fernando  - staying with us at Grizedale Arts for one of his cheese workshops - mused on how one the one hand our garden project What Will the Harvest Be? could be said to beautify the East London Olympic 'cliff edge' whilst the Graffiti Tours duly celebrate its decay!

All aboard

We could show you where we've been but then we'll have to kill you

Today we had a very useful trial tour into the 2011 Olympic Park itself aboard the Floating Cinema - mainly to inspire and inform the speakers who will lead our days of tours from July 21st - 24th. Like the Royal family, we were accompanied by a flotilla of security men in high-vis and aviator shades.
After the tours we will add films of them to the website so you can to listen to Iain Sinclair, Michael Smith, Holly Burn and Susie Donkin & Jemima Burrill guide you up the canals and into the Park in entertaining, shocking and though-provoking ways.....

Somewhere on the Floating Cinema

I declare the Floating Cinema launched

After a successful press launch at the nice Waterhouse Restaurant on Orsman Road, tonight (July 1st) by Lea Rowing Club, Springfield Marina, Stamford Hill we have our public launch from 7.30pm. Say hello of you come by!

More info on the event here