Sleepwalking the City

InspiralLondon is delighted to have created three unique walks, with InspiralLondon Associate Artists and guests, that explore the lesser known parts of Deptford, from its High Street sleepwalking into night fall. The Sleepwalkers’ Guide to Deptford was part of the opening month of Lewisham Borough of Culture, and follows InspiralLondon’s nightwalking activities: artists explore – the ghosts of the past that will not go away whatever develops here, the deep night mud of the Thames Valley that nourishes and shifts beneath our feet by Deptford Creek, mingled with the intensity of nightfall, a twilight zone where anything might happen. Come and see for yourself and make Deptford yours again…

Two family friendly walks entertained the crowds on the week 14-18 February (Jo McCormack & Sarah Sparkes’ Love around the Mulberry Tree; The Art of the Magic Lanterns’ Nautical Twilight Tour). Artists and Sleepwalkers reanimated the stormy streets of Deptford and some of its lesser known quarters; with monsters, maidens and masks; peppered the mulberry trees, graveyards, sidestreets, hosteleries, pubs, shopkeepers and creeks with jovial enlightenment.

Then for a final burst of Hypnagogic Sleepwalking of the City we joined Doctor Mikey Georgeson and poet Johny Brown with his trance team on the 4th March, trailing through Deptford’s haunted night time, in rich somnabulisms. Not so much Doctor Faustus as Doctor Solo/Caligari – in a night of rare Twilight, memories of the High Streets’ rich musical legacy in DIY fanzines and punkrock singularites.

Sleepwalking Deptford; Crossing Deptford High Street to Brookmill Park in homage to local recordshop we stopped to ‘pogo’

On February 14th, at the start of Love around the Mulberry Tree, by Little Nans, the sleepwalkers assembled.
For a night of puppetry and magic, as the High Street was re-illuminated with spirit dancing – film: Sarah Sparkes
The Mulberry Tree Sleepwalkers then turned onto the High Street.
Walked swiftly but mindfully through the tunnel toward Folkstone Gardens.
On another stop to play the puppet tunes and re-animate the High Street.
In Sayes Court Park by the River, illuminating the byways of the High Street with loving care.
Artist Joanna McCormick then entertained the crowd on this blustery evening.

Above images from Love around the Mulberry Tree (on evening 14th Feb) – are followed by images from Nautical Twilight Walk and A Sleepwalkers’ Guide to Deptford.

On the Nautical Twilight Walk we stopped at Deptford Green to enjoy a lantern show.
Some of the younger walkers joined in the show by projecting the slides.
We followed the creatures, ships and tales in a circle down to the River at Creekside, back to the High Street.
Bringing the Creekside Docks alight.
Frog Morris tuning his magical lantern to the ancient walls of Deptford.
Finally back at the High Street the tour ended with some rousing performance poetry at Badger Badger

Start of the Sleepwalkers Guide to Deptford – at The Waiting Room – for rendition of ‘Lover in Deptford’.
Mikey Georgeson recounts his first encouters with Deptford High Street in the 1980’s
Transported by the figure of Cesare, listening to Johny Brown’s lament.
Here Dr Caligari sung us back to the late 70’s in punk DIY, recalling the Glue Sniffer’s fanzine.
Sleepwalking our way back through Resolution Way we found Cesare again.
He and Dr. Caligari led us then south towards Brookmill Park…
Sharing more “action time and vision” in Manifold Wisdom.
Before returning to Deptford and Badger Badger we stopped under the Railway Arches for a final song.

This walk was made with historic and hypnagogic care on the final Sleepwalking Walk event made on 4th March 2022: A Sleepwalker’s Guide to Deptford – that included free Hypnagogic Light Therapy at Badger Badger.