Now technically this isn’t a Cultivate thing, but in so so many ways it is a Cultivate thing, our Hackney Wick neighbours are getting all WickED again this weekend, time to celebrate art, artists, spaces and communities….
Hackney WickED is upon us again, an artist-led event (or series of events), an annual weekend of events that revolves and evolves around a celebration of the “DIY Open Studios showcasing local as well as internationally renowned artists within their own studios, exhibitions and site specific installations”
The weekend starts this year with a big Hackney Wick Group Show, a show curated by Gavin Turk & Anna Maloney, a show that’s part of the Hackney WickED DIY Open Studios programme.
Inside Out will take place at the giant futuristic Here East canalside space (a future exhibition space?) on Friday 28 July 6-9pm and Sat 29th/Sun 30th July 12-6pm. “The intention is to showcase Hackney Wick’s diverse range of artists and talents, as well as exploring the inside workings of the artist studio outside of the studio’s natural habitat of warehouses and yards. It may also be a representation of inner emotions, ideas, shadows and trauma expressed outwardly and publicly at a time of great change in and around Hackney Wick”.
“In 2009, Gavin Turk cut a ribbon draped across the width of Wallis Yard and opened the second year of a small arts festival in East London proverbially known as Hackney WickED. Hackney WickED is now an annual community organised coming together of artists, studios and groups working in and around Hackney Wick. Scroll forward to 2017 and the physical development of the area mounts pressure on the working and living community more than ever as cranes, HGVs, road closures, concrete and steel frames, hard hats and high vis jackets turn the area in to a construction site, building accommodation for newcomers (who can afford it) to come to the area. Gavin Turk has had to vacate his studio on Wick Lane, a studio where he had worked for the past 16 years, forced out to make way for the new development there. Here East (formerly the media centre in the Olympic park) is providing a temporary studio for Gavin in Studio 1 in the Press Centre and this week the space will house the satellite Hackney WickED Group Show “..
“Although this is a vulnerable time for the community, Hackney WickED aims to create a union, a ‘bridge’ between the existing creative community and the newcomers to the area within the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, forging positive new relationships and opportunities for artists to be supported, acknowledged and continue to thrive in the changing landscape, and not become extinct to Hackney Wick. Expect a massive range of talent from and around Hackney Wick, expect painting, installation, live art performance, sculpture, expect drinks (sponsored by Crate), expect the general WickED revelry that you’ve come to expect!”
Some may question the decision of the Hackney WickED organisers, the curators of this show and indeed us, the participating artists. Some may question the decesion to work with the people developing the area, some may question the decesion to be involved in an art show in the rather vast rather unfriendly unwelcoming almost ghostly Here East space, some may question the decesion to work with the people who could be seen as the enemy as we watch the Wick’s creative soul being torn apart and the community being pushed out to who knows where?
I know that as a Hackney-based artist and art event organiser who has worked in the area for quite a few years now, both in the Wick directly and as a regular WickED participant, as well as someone who was very much involved in the running of a very open Vyner Street art space that was a big part of another much-loved and celebrated East London art community that fell to the soul-sucking developers and their almost arrogantly uncaring destruction, I know that as an artist, I was conflicted.
Should I take part in this show? Should this show be happening while Vittoria Wharf is under serious threat and while the community try to prevent the demolition of the Vittoria Wharf artists’ studios and the always in use Stour Space gallery complex faces a very uncertain future and yet more spaces to be destroyed replaced, this time by “the London Legacy Development Corporation’s unnecessary footbridge that sidelines thousands of local objections. The bridges will destroy a cultural asset and create polluting traffic routes through Fish Island and the Olympic park”.
People’s lives are being torn apart, people are being pushed out of the Wick, out of Fish Island, out of treasured world-renowned places like Vyner Street, out of East London, out of London. The new buildings that spring up aren’t realistic replacements, rents aren’t realistic, nothing is realistic, communities are being left high and dry. We really don’t need that bridge, we really don’t need yet another damn bridge and more traffic polluting the already dreadful East London air (has anyone been to Leytonstone and seen the traffic problems development has caused there? You can’t get your breath!), we need a community, we need out art and design spaces to be celebrated, encouraged, we need community…
I’m conflicted, but there are “bridges” that do need to be built, the Wick is going (or at least changing in a very worryingly dramatic way), there’s destruction, there’s what you can call without ever being in danger of being too dramatic, social cleansing – people, businesses, taxi garages, artist studios, wood yards, stone masons, all being forced out to who knows where. Giant glass front buildings are going up, unfriendly aggressive buildings, unaffordable flats that aren’t for the likes of us, corporate tech spaces, and like Vyner Street before it, if new spaces are built, we know they’re going to be unaffordable, not practical and frankly we’re not going to be welcome even if they are affordable.
So I’m a conflicted artist, but the reality is that some “bridges” do need to be built, we can’t stop most of what’s happening in the area (we can still stop that damn bridge and the destruction of Vittoria Wharf). We can build bridges while we try to stop bridges (and the egos of architects), we can build bridges and try to explain to the developers, to the mayor, to the Olympic legacy people, we can build bridges, we can show the work we create and try to explain to these seemingly faceless uncaring people, we can try to explain that what we have already is an asset for everyone, that what we already have in Hackney Wick needs to be treasured and celebrated rather than pulled apart and cynically destroyed.
We need to explain what the Wick has been all about, what it could still be about, what it still NEEDS to be about, what an asset it already is, how art and culture and design and film-making and creativity are all a vital part of the community and the local (and national) economy. We need to explain how a place needs a soul, a face, how a place needs people, how you can’t just push everyone out and build big glass ghost towns and drive empty corporately-uniformed orange and sky-blue buses around your ghost town so it looks like something is here in the emptiness where once there so much was much.
So yes I am conflicted but this show really does need to happen and artists like Gavin Turk need to care and some bridges do need to be built and art shows need to happen in “their” spaces as well as the few of ours that are still left.
Inside Out could well be one of the most important art shows ever staged in the area, the event and the community brought together by Gavin Turk, Anna Maloney and the Hackney WickEd team. Inside Out will be an exciting show alive with art, with paint and performance and installation and sculpture and film and people. Some bridges don’t need to be built, some bridges really do. Treasure your artists and art spaces, treasure soul, treasure creativity, don’t arrogantly destroy it, don’t stand by while others do, build communities, don’t destroy them, art maters, community matters, creativity is vital, treasure the creativity and the creative spaces of Hackney Wick (sw)
Inside Out will take place at the giant futuristic Here East canal-side space (a future exhibition space?) on Friday 28 July 6-9pm and Sat 29th/Sun 30th July 12-6pm.
ARTISTS INVITED TO TAKE PART IN THE INSIDE OUT SHOW… ADELE BRYDGES, ALYSON HElYER, ANNA L MALONEY, ANNETTE ZERA, ANNIE ATTRIDGE, BEA JUNQUIERA, BECKY O’BRIEN, BEN HOPPER, BRAY EWING, CEDERIC CHRISTIE, COCO HEWITT, CONRAD ARMSTRONG, CRISTINA BANBAN, DANI TAGEN, DANIEL WIDRIG, DANIELLE PARKINSON, DOLLYOLLI, ELAINA ARKEOOLL, ELLEN MAIORANO, E-ZHANG, FELIPE CAMPOS PERES, GAVIN TURK, GEORGE HATHAWAY, GEORGIE MASON, INNER WORLD ARTS, JAMES FAURE WALKER, JEAN PAUL DELAMORE, JOHN KING, JONATHAN ROSON, JORDANA GREAVES, KANDICE HOLMES, LILY HEAUME, LUDOVICA GIOSCIA, LUKE HEKATE, MARIAN MONAS, MARIE BRENNEIS, MARIE-LOUISE JONES, MARK BAILEY, MARTIN RICHMAN, MATT HARDING, MICHAEL WOROBEC, NAOMI BOOTS, NICK NOWICKI, NINA MANKIN, PAUL SAKOILSKY, PETER BENNETT, POL MCLERNON, REBECCA FEINER, REEPS ONE, ROBERT ABERDEIN, SEAN WORRALL, SEBNEM UGURAL, SHANNON IDZIKOWSKA, SIMON REUBEN-WHITE, STEFANIA PUNTAROLI, SUSAN SUPERCHARGED, TEDDY BADEN, TOM ORMOND, UTE HOFMANN, VINAY HATHI, WILFRID WOOD, ZHU XIAOWEN
Further reading via the various Organ pages…..
ORGAN PREVIEW: Hackney WickEd is almost upon us, a week and a bit to go until another of the city’s best artist-led events and a gathering of….
Hackney WickEd is almost upon us, a week and a bit to go until another of the city’s best artist-led events and a gathering of some of “London’s most exciting artists to celebrate a Summer of Love at Hackney WickED DIY Open Studios” This year the ever evolving event happens from July 28th to July…
Where were we? Not hanging around underground car parks that’s for sure, that flash of energy long since blew away in a cloud of something or other… Art is forever evolving and the Aida Wilde led interaction with the ever changing walls of the Lord Napier over in Hackney Wick for this year’s WickEd was…
The contrast between the art event explored this Friday evening and last Friday’s almost offensive excesses over at Frieze cannot be ignored. The contrasts at Stour Space, the plight of the artists and designers, the plight of the creative community that has thrived for many years over in Hackney Wick, the contrast between the defiance…
Den City, Hackney Wick(ed), Exo//Schizm, open galleries, artists studios, all happening this weekend, the ethos is, ‘let’s enjoy it it whilst we can
This weekend over at Hackney Wick, around Fish Island and the surrounding area of fast disappearing East London, lots of things are happening. Things? Creativity, art, painting, performance, dancing around architecture (while maybe watching a ship, or a Sweet Toof encrusted canal boat, arriving too late to save a drowning witch?). The annual Hackney WickED…
Some in-house Monday morning trumpet blowing and hey, there’s a lot of time spent here sharing other people’s music, art and news, today it is trumpet in hand and this is what I did last weekend. We’ll be back to all the telling you about other people’s music and such later on…. #43ArtDrop, Hackney Wick,…
Aida Wilde is a defiant artist, a “demonic Print-maker”, an East London survivor. It is mostly about survival right now, her curating and pulling together of things in terms of the Lorn Napier pub and what happened on the walls over there in Hackney Wick last year really was one of the best things that…