Monday, 16 July 2012

The circus comes to town

The olympic lanes open next week, the traffic lights have been changed, some of the roads that were once dual carriageways are going to be one way, the flags are out and the olympic family have hit town. Thousands of extra troops have been called up for security, as well as police, and land-to-air missiles are ready to be positioned on top of local apartment blocks... London 2012.

Last week an attack helicopter passed over our studio at the Firestation in Bow. You could hear it coming from miles away. The skies darkened; the noise was deafening. The girls upstairs screamed and sweared (as artists do). It's like living in a war zone, and the olympics haven't even started yet.

Now what of the residents of East London who don't have tickets to the biggest party in town yet have to put up with the circus around us? We feel really left out! Especially if you're an artist rather than a sports person.

Oh well, there's always the telly - and at least it's in our time zone so we can watch the events at a reasonable time of night or day. But will I be able to get much further than two miles from my home over the next few weeks? Will I be able to get to the studio or gym? Will I be able to go on that boat trip next week I'd so been looking forward to? Will I be able to get to that exhibition that closes at the beginning of August? I have an awful feeling I wont.

But I will keep reminding myself - when I watch the swimming at the Aquatic Centre from my sofa - that my studio was once right there, slap bang in the middle of Carpenters Road where the new pool stands, when Stratford was a one-eyed town that no-one wanted to visit, before Westfield Shopping Centre and all the new apartments and regeneration.

The Olympics come to town just once in my lifetime, and thank god for that!

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