Exploring Chiswick Campaign Launched

Culture groups want to encourage people to learn more about local heritage


Exploring Chiswick

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A group of local heritage organisations including the William Hogarth Trust and the local history society have got together to launch the ‘Exploring Chiswick’ campaign.

With the government asking people to stay local, these cultural groups are suggesting now is the time to explore their area’s heritage by following local arts trails, online (if they’re staying at home) and on foot (if they’re taking daily exercise). The campaign will run over the next month.

Several that are already available 'oven ready' for you to try are recommended.

It is backed by Abundance London, which created the Chiswick Timeline: A History of Art & Maps and its Art Trail; Brentford & Chiswick Local History Society and William Hogarth Trust, which co-created ‘In Georgian Footsteps’, a guided trail of 18th Century Chiswick; Chiswick House & Gardens Trust, which has its own interactive map and visitor guide; the Chiswick Book Festival, which created the Chiswick Timeline of Writers & Books and its Writers Trail; and by St Michael & All Angels Church, which runs the Chiswick Book Festival, the Bedford Park Festival and other community arts activities.

Torin Douglas, director of the Chiswick Book Festival, said, “There are several inspiring and informative arts trails in Chiswick and these free guides are ‘oven-ready’, to download on mobiles and computers, or to pick up from local centres. We hope they will cheer Chiswick up and help improve people’s mental and physical well-being, whether shielding or taking daily exercise within Government guidelines.”

Chiswick has inspired – and been home to - artists and writers for 400 years, from William Hogarth, Alexander Pope & William Makepeace Thackeray to the Nobel Prize winners WB Yeats and Harold Pinter. Residents include the artist Sir Peter Blake and the current Sunday Times bestselling author Richard Osman.

The campaign leads into a series of online talks on ‘Thames Luminaries’, starting on 27 January with Val Bott on ‘Within the garden walls at Hogarth’s House’. On 29 January, Dr Marion Harney will speak about ‘Alexander Pope: the poet and poetic landscape’; and on 3 February the topic is ‘Chiswick House, William Kent, and the birth of the English Landscape Movement‘ with John Watkins. The 10 talks are in aid of the Pope’s Grotto Preservation Trust and can be booked here. https://chiswickhouseandgardens.org.uk/event/the-thames-luminaries/

Val Bott, chairman of the William Hogarth Trust, says, "Our Georgian trail helps you step back into 18th century Chiswick and links Hogarth's House and Chiswick House. It was a pleasing joint project between our Trust, Chiswick House & Gardens Trust and the Brentford & Chiswick Local History Society, funded by the John & Ruth Howard Trust and Hounslow Council. Try it out – and see a place you thought you knew through fresh eyes!”

Fr Kevin Morris, vicar of St Michael & All Angels, Bedford Park, added, “At St Michael’s we believe faith and the arts go together, to inspire people, lift their spirits and engender conversations with people across a wide range of backgrounds and beliefs. Bedford Park, the first garden suburb, was inspired by the Aesthetic Movement of the 1870s and has long been a centre for artists, architects and writers.”

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January 8, 2021

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