The independent London newspaper

Like art? Then pop along to meet Olya

Who's been making the news round your way this week?

12 April, 2018 — By Helen Chapman

Olya’s exhibition is a Caxton House Community Centre

Olya Dobrovolska, 26, moved to Islington a year ago and is seeking to know if her new neighbours like art as much as she does. “When you live alone in London you don’t know how to connect with people,” she says. “I hope to find more people in the area who might be interested in art.” Olya, who currently teaches art to children aged 7-12 at home, moved to London from Ukraine two years ago after graduating from art school. She is mounting an exhibition called Impressions at Caxton House Community Centre this month. “If people have the time I would love for them to join me,” she says. “It’s hard to talk about my own art but I like it when people tell me what they see in it. Everyone is welcome.” The exhibition is free and will be open from 3-9pm on April 27 and 11am-5pm on April 28 at Caxton House Community Centre, 129 St John’s Way, Archway, N19.

Marathon effort in memory of gran

James Aitchison is taking on the London Marathon to raise money for St John’s Hospice

Holloway resident James Aitchison will be running the London Marathon next weekend in support of St John’s Hospice, where his grandmother Paola Bafumo Pollock died from lung cancer in 2014. Her 61st birthday would have been on April 24, just two days after the London Marathon. “Training is going well,” says James. “I’ve been running a mad amount for a long time. It’s very addictive. I really feel like I’m a part of something. I’m raising money for the hospice because I spent a lot of time there when my grandmother was going through cancer.” As a child James went to Our Lady’s Catholic Primary School in Camden, where Paola and his grandfather Jock Aitchison were caretakers and lived on the school site. “I remember seeing them walking around in the playground,” says James, “and if I stayed with them at night I would go around with them turning off the lights.”
• Donations can be made at

Cheers! Mine’s a festival of films

Aidan Gillen in Pickups

A FILM festival based at a pub is kicking off with a screening of Pickups, starring Game of Thrones actor Aidan Gillen.
Unrestricted View, a film festival in its third year running in Islington, takes place at the Hen and Chickens pub theatre from April 23-29. Producer of Pickups Phil Bowman said: “It’s going to be Aidan’s 50th birthday a few hours after the screening. He will be filming in Canada but we are planning on raising a glass of Guinness to him.” The festival’s creative director James Wren said: “We are returning to the Hen and Chickens, our spiritual home, for the whole week.” James, who lives in Islington, remembers the Mighty Boosh performing at the watering hole in 1999. He said: “This is the third year of the festival running at the Hen and Chickens pub. We have seen the venue go from being based around comedy and theatre towards moving into film. It’s a great opportunity to see fantastic independent films not being shown in the Vue or Odeon. The filmmakers will be there in the pub too so people will get a chance to meet and greet them.”
Unrestricted View will also utilise a mobile vintage cinema at the Alwyne Castle pub in Highbury from Thursday to Saturday, screening short films. The event closes on April 29 at the Hen and Chickens where an awards ceremony will take place. Pickups will be shown at 7pm on Monday, April 23, at the Screen on the Green.
• For more information about Unrestricted View visit


Share this story

Post a comment