It started as a conversation, a desire to renew relationships, a reunion. A group of artists linked by study at Middlesex University. Most of us were there at the same time, but not all. Some of us travelled far before we came to Middlesex and some of us now work far away.
If 'Certain neighbourhoods carry with them a particular atmosphere over many generations'  how did the now-closed Cat Hill select and shape us? Did an art school surrounded by trees on the top of a wooded hill formed by Pymme's Brook have a lasting influence?
Of course Cat Hill is not the only shaping factor. Between us we have tracked the migrations of the schools that came together to form Middlesex University; some of us studied at Hornsey School of Art, Enfield College, Trent Park, at Cat Hill and at Hendon, where the newly-built arts and design building is named after another wood: The Grove.
As, perhaps, place can exert its influence so, of course, can the culture that inhabits the place. Is there 'a fit between the art of the time, the art theory and criticism that supported and developed the art, and the exercises by which students were introduced to the field.'  Is there a Middlesex philosophy of art? Certainly, it was intended to be an open course, with a strong emphasis on using research and awareness of current and historical discourses to underpin the development of the practice. Critical and analytical processes were valued as much as the development of technical skills.
Cat Hill might have gone, but the courses remain in a new Grove. And not far from the place where Pymme's Brook still trickles into the mighty River Lea, there is another coming together at Walthamstow's youngest beacon of contemporary art. This is a special time for Walthamstow as an artistic renaissance is accompanied by rapid regeneration and change.
Have we been shaped by the places and cultures we have navigated together? What matter. For now there is another coming together and we are here.
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