Waltham Forest and Mayor of London launch 2019 Borough of Culture with ‘Welcome to the Forest’


Images are today released ahead of Welcome to the Forest, the opening event for the first ever Mayor of London’s Borough of Culture, Waltham Forest. The opening event Welcome to the Forest (11 to 13 January, 6pm to 9.30pm) is created in response to the themes of Waltham Forest’s year celebrating Radicals, Makers and Fellowship. It’s 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. The Mayor’s London Borough of Culture programme is designed to put culture at the heart of the local community and inspire a new generation of creative talent.

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “It’s fantastic to see Waltham Forest kick off the very first London Borough of Culture with such an impressive weekend show. This is just the start of an ambitious and exciting year which will see light installations on the marshes, internationally renowned artists collaborating with local schools, and music projects bringing communities together. Culture has the power to transform lives and through the London Borough of Culture programme we will be helping more Londoners, regardless of background, to enjoy the real benefits of the arts.”

Cllr Clare Coghill, Leader, Waltham Forest Council, said “Our opening event is a statement of intent; not only in scale and ambition but also in the extent of community engagement and local artist participation that has made Welcome to the Forest a reality. We’ve talked about the transformative power of culture and our opening weekend literally transforms our local environment into something that captures the essence and imagination of what we are aiming to achieve in this first year of the Mayor of London’s Borough of Culture initiative. I feel incredibly proud to have reached this stage in our journey and there is so much more yet to come”

On Friday 11th, Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th January, Waltham Forest Town Hall will be transformed by artists Greenaway & Greenaway and Mercury Music Prize-winning musician and producer Talvin Singh who present Into the Forest, a high energy, audio-visual, site-specific film that tells the story of the borough through the eyes of Waltham Forest’s diverse communities. This will include a projection of more than 1,000 faces of local Waltham Forest residents and has been created in collaboration with students of Leyton Sixth Form College Preview can be viewed via YouTube here. Consecutive to this will be the brand new commission from world-renowned, local electronic duo Addictive TV, Welcome to the Forest is a unique piece of music created by sampling audio and video of Waltham Forest’s rich and diverse musical talent.

Lloyd Park will be home to Nest, a brand new commission from artists Marshmallow Laser Feast; an epic lighting installation choreographed to a transcendental soundscape by composer Erland Cooper created with over 1,000 participants from local schools and choirs.