SunFlower Boy: a nickname I have been given by some lovely little boys who came to Walter The Wanderer Book reading and Coulour Along as part of the 2 shows I was performing in at The Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
I have had a “Sunflower” or as the say in France, “Tournesol” that I attached to my shoe and people / photographers could not get enough of it.
While attending the 50th Anniversary of the Photography Festival in Arles hundreds of people took pictures of my shoes, ha.
Ahhh now that the Fringe is over …. I am now getting ready to head back to NYC in a week. I am relaxing in Edinburgh and a seed has been planted… maybe the dream was planted 4 years ago… now it’s peeking out and voicing … with a deep calmness and steady voice, ” Move to Edinburgh”.
Moving to Edinburgh is a new idea for me and quite exhilarating to think about and also terrifying in a sense as well.
Change is the only constant.
I have tried to live free and love fully in life. Traveling with friends and finding new ones, creating art alongside beautiful souls gathering together. I feel I am living Vincent Van Gogh’s dream of creating his Art Colony, the Studio of the South that he envisioned creating with Paul Gaugain and the help of Vincent’s Brother Theo.
I have traveled in the footsteps of Vincent, The Borinage in Belgium, Mons, the Marcasse mines where he suffered and preached and lived with the poor coal miners. Auvers-sur-Oise, in the fields where he suffered the deadly gunshot wound.
The bedroom where he died and spent his last breathe with his brother Theo. His Funeral was in this room as well as the church would not allow a “suicide” into the church.
The memories of the 79 day trip across the Uk and EU has deepened my understanding of myself, my art and my heArt.
My thoughts on Van Gogh Find Yourself #vgfy:
I let my work speak for itself. Maybe I should say, “our work”, as we create together during the performance, with “No Judgement”. The art is then gifted to each other spreading the memories for years to come regarding the story and love that shaped Vincent’s historical and monumental life. Vincent is loved. So, how to get to a place artistically that is not pretentious, didactic and fresh??? I have had to learn to let go and breathe, as I have had to learn in life as well. I am proud to say the reactions I get from my audiences help me deal with my mental health as well. The emotional confirmation that art is alive in us, love is alive, kindness is alive.
I cried when I read this following review and I am laughing while I type this as I realize it is a gift. You see I did not send out one press release as I get a bit in my head and overwhelmed with that type of thing. The posters and competition in Edinburgh is Immense… daunting, and I just wanted to perform the best and grow the show to where it can be universally adaptable to any museum, venue, restaurant, Kitchen table. I have stripped the show to the bare essentials and the review gets that and I feel good about the fact that the reviewer was not even supposed to review my show, but fate was on my side.
thanks for reading and I will update with some more pics and a story of meeting my Love.
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The drawing collectively around his desk is to free us from the constraints around ourselves. Vincent channels the creativity in the room along with the inner peace and calm that he exudes as he starts the narrative. It could be a number of narratives because he has very rich material.
The script may meander and depend upon how he feels on that day but what is astonishing is the performance. It is exceptional. That degree of connection with a character is often rare and very often you feel the electricity when you are amongst it. There is a true artist here and it aint Van Gogh.
It’s astonishing and when DeForest drops the accent and speaks in his own natural accent I have to lift my jaw from the floor. He is utterly convincing. The hesitancy, the thinking on his feet, the naivete that he displays even when he talks of his own death as Van Gogh is awe inspiring.
The conceit of it being an adult art type class with an audience that has no artifice to struggle through, no props or hidden objects to wade past and no trickery to see past adds to that. We have no curtains, lights or props to enhance the raw performance. DeForest needs none of that because his knowledge of the subject and the way in which he channels that energy through his drawing and our attention is all the spark required.
When he finished his drawing and gave it to the man across from him you really felt that it was a privilege. The emotion that causes him to break down at the end is real. The emotion authentic and the love he feels for doing what he does, the cost to his pocket but the increasing humanity of himself is just beautiful to see and to be a part of.
He spoke of his attempt to break the world record of drawing portraits and it is another highlight of the afternoon. I happened upon this because of missing another piece of theatre and serendipity did me a favour today. I wish DeForest well in his attempt to break a record, but I hope he returns with this again, and again, and again. It is pure theatrical gold.
What a wonderful experience!
I went to see Vincent Van Gogh on Saturday 23rd August with my Mum.
We both came away feeling incredibly moved and inspired. Evident how much research went into the making of this show. And how much love. Easily one our favourite experiences of the Fringe.
If ever you find yourself looking for a truly immersive performance, we couldn’t recommend this one more.
Keep doing what you’re doing Walter, it’s wonderful!!!
I have been talking to Walter for about 3 months now he is a wonderful human and his show is the best van Gogh show out there. I have been to the show 4 times this year and I just think its wonderful I like how you can make art while learning about Vincent’s life I definitely Recommend this show to everybody.
Moving, sweet and memorable – the sort of left field experience that perhaps is only possible in Edinburgh. I’d highly recommend a visit to this uniquely intimate event. Thank you, Walter, for sharing your passion and insights into an artist we all think we know – but was actually much more complex than the familiar caricature.
Watched #vgfy on my last day in Edinburgh and loved it so much, wished I could watch it again.
Special and unique piece, sensitive and beautiful performance ♡
A really enjoyable, arty and informative hour spent in wonderful company. Vincent (or Walter) is very entertaining and his show is a hidden gem. Can’t recommend it highly enough. Go for the art and stay for the entertainment!
Vincent was alive in Walter. The artist that inspires us all so much met his match in the equally inspirational artist, Walter Deforest. Incredibly moving and informative, and great fun too, unleashing you’re inner artist. If you see any free show at the Fringe PLEASE make it this one, it’s what Vincent would have wanted.
☆☆☆☆ A Hidden Gem
What a delightful surprise this show was. Intimate both in its staging and delivery, the audience sit at a small painting workshop along with Vincent (Walter DeForest), as he beautifully narrates his life story. DeForest brings a casual passion to the character, always real but never overwhelmingly so, a perfect balance to sway his (sadly sparse) audience and take them for a ride down memory lane. In a quieter venue and with a more welcoming stage, this show would be an absolute hit. Totally recommended!
You will be so happy you came upon this show! The performer really embodies the spirit of Van Gogh, you learn a lot about his life, AND you even may pick up some artistic ability too. The performer Walter really throws himself into the role and disappears, at times I felt like I really was listening to Van Gogh. He makes many salient points about how we treat artists today, and how we treat art in general. A beautiful show, highly recommend it, for ALL ages.
A brilliant show on the 4th. An excellent & natural performance. Combining a little art therapy with an entertaining delivery, I recommend this show unreservedly.