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Artist seeks stories and photos for exhibition about history of Ilford businesses

13:27 07 July 2014

Shoppers were perplexed by the street performers. Picture: Vision Redbridge Culture & Leisure

Shoppers were perplexed by the street performers. Picture: Vision Redbridge Culture & Leisure

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An artist is searching for stories, photos and music as part of a series of events to celebrate the history of the high street and local businesses.

Not your usual street cleaner - he's wearing a microphone. Picture: Vision Redbridge Culture & LeisureNot your usual street cleaner - he's wearing a microphone. Picture: Vision Redbridge Culture & Leisure

Artist Lucy Harrison is heading a project, which explores the contributions of businesses to Ilford’s cultural life.

The project comes after the hidden history of Ilford High Road was told in High Street Odyssey - a street theatre piece.

The street performance and upcoming exhibition is part of Ilford This Way – a collaborative art programme between Vision Redbridge’s culture team and students on the MA Narrative Environments course at the University of the Arts London.

Street theatre audiences were given a one-of-a-kind guided tour of Ilford High Road as part of an initiative to engage people with the borough.

Headphones and binoculars - the audience became part of the performance. Picture: Vision Redbridge Culture & LeisureHeadphones and binoculars - the audience became part of the performance. Picture: Vision Redbridge Culture & Leisure

Actors in High Street Odyssey stayed in character among Ilford’s hustle and bustle to transport the headphone-wearing audience on a “dream-like voyage” along Ilford High Road.

The performance explored the history, mystery and the compelling characters behind the historic high street.

Artist Lucy, whose Good Company project looks at music and memories, said: “I think Ilford is a place which has changed quite a lot over the years and a lot of people remember particular businesses are not there anymore.”

Previous high street projects included a Flat Pack Park on Oakfield Road, Ilford, which was opened by artist Laura X Carle last month.

Vision arts development officer Jane Leighton said: “They [the theatre group] have written this whole script about Ilford - Ilford is a really great place for people to discover things.”

Ms Leighton added: “I just feel that it was a fantastic opportunity.”

“To be able to bring work like that to the borough is a fantastic achievement.”

Ms Harrison is inviting people to share their stories and songs at an event at the Exchange Ilford on July 23.

Call 079 6487 8315 for more information on the Good Company Project.

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