Hackney WickED happens this weekend, another one of the genuine highlights of the London art year’s big and busy calendar. Hackney WickED happens every year around about this time, been happening since 2008, it happens over in the warrens and labyrinths at Hackney Wick, around the glorious old buildings of Fish Island, in the fractured studios and the much-loved creative spaces. The weekend art festival Some say it hasn’t quite been the same since the Olympics and all the redevelopment, no one really cared about the area before that, besides the artists and designers of course (we’ve always loved the Wick). back before the Olympics it really was gloriously anarchic, still is to some extent, this year is feel like it just might be capturing some of that apocalyptic spirit of the early years again…
Gentrification is an issue now of course, artists are being forces out, spaces being closed down, knocked down (and we see Aida Wilde has been busy in her Hackney Wick studio making ready with something new, those pieces up there are from earlier this year). In recent years the authorities have been clamping down on the street party aspect, gone (to some extent) are the stages in the street, the bands and the dances mobs blocking the roads while buses tried to push through the dancers, Some of the wilder aspects have been closed down by the Blue Meanies, still been a great weekend in recent years though, still something very very special, a coming together of artists, of DIY attitudes and lots more. This year it almost feels defiant, where last year Hackney WickED seemed to almost be hiding and keeping quiet and low-key, almost apologising for having the audacity to still be happening, this year it feels defiant and there’s a genuine buzz of excitement in the air, a comradery, a throwback, this year it feels like it really is happening again…….
“The Annual east London art festival Hackney WickED returns this year, this time as a curated series of exhibitions, live art, music and film events”
The weekend kicks off this Friday evening with Greased Up, Location: Mick’s Garage, Queen’s Yard, E9 5EN from 6pm-11pm. The Greased Up team say “In 2010 when Hackney WickED was at its hedonistic height ‘Run Riot’ described the area as an ‘apocalyptic world’ where only the artists survived. Fast Forward to 2016 Hackney WickED slams the brakes on in Queens Yard for an evening of reminiscence at Mick’s Garage (a former Garage ran by Mick) for an explosive evening of Installation, Live Art and Performance that will leave you exhausted”. ARTISTS: > STRONTIUM 92 , Tex Royale, Lu Ma Oi, Stray Transmission, The Phantomat, The London Soundpainting Orchestra founded by Diego Ghymers, The Beat Box Collective, Marie Brenneis, Dean Todd, Aoife Van Linden Tol, Mai Nguyen Tri, & MORE. (Curated by Laura May Lewis)
“Hackney Wick artists are coming together to organise a DIY Open Studios event at the end of July, Fri 29-Sun 31 July 2016 at locations in and around Hackney Wick & Fish Island; to celebrate the artist and creative community that currently resides in the area. Your annual chance to explore the labyrinth of artist studios and creative spaces with over 100 participants. Studios confirmed to take part include: Mother Studios, Space (Britannia Works, Bridget Riley, White Building, Eastway Studio), See Studio, Stour Space, Arebyte, Lionworks, Wallis Rd/ Cell/ Liquid Studios, 92 White Post Lane, Vittoria Wharf, Peanut Factory, Fish Island Labs/Swan Wharf, Grow Hackney.
Oh look, there are loads and loads of artistic things going on, just get out your best smile, find your best sunhat and go explore over the weekend and you’ll find yourself constantly turning another corner and finding something else to enjoy and take part in. Oh and do watch out for a #43ArtDrop piece happening over the weekend (I’m working on it now, a piece of art in 43 parts, each part hanging there for someone to take should they wish to)
Timings HW Friday Late: 6-9pm DIY Open Studios, 6-11pm HW Late at Mick’s Garage, Saturday/Sunday: 12-6pm DIY Open Studios, with evening programming around the Wick with partner venues featuring; [talks], [installations], [performance commission], [shops], [tours], [music], [exhibitions], [workshops], [open jams] & more
o many highlights tp pick out, unfair to so really but over at Grow they say “We’re excited to announce artist XENZ will be displaying some of his studio work on our walls”, Grow have bands playing, jazz bands, brass bands, Actually we’d be here all day listing everything that’s going on over the weekend, all it is all happening in a small enough area that you just have to go and pick out that bit over there, ot what’s that? or that sounds good or…There’s a full weekend programme of events and studio & gallery openings and things over on the official website
Here’s some Organ words and a whole load of photos from Hackney WickED 2015 – “Yesterday was a great day, a day to “enjoy it while we can”, we’ll celebrate days like this and places and people like these when it’s all gone. We’ve already lost Vyner Street, most of Redchurch Street, East London is changing fast, not every change is bad of course, but most of it really is, and we artists know our time is almost up around here… Celebrate these times, this art, these old buildings, warehouses, these people and these creative spaces that birth so much… Hackney Wicked happened again this year, we had a great time”
And this weekend it happens again, almost defiantly, I can’t wait, see you there (sw)