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 probably one of the highlights in terms of London art in 2016. A whole gang of painters, printers, owl-bothering hooligans, paste-up jockeys and more taking on the outside walls of the old pub that has been a glorious Hackney Wick street art canvas for many years now…
The ongoing Save Hackney Wick campaign has being going on all year, Olympic regeneration is really hitting hard now, studio being closed, artists being evicted, real people pushed out, you know the story. This weekend a show called Save Yourselves happens at one of the Hackney Wick underthreat art spaces. Hang on though, before that have a quick blast of Daxx & Roxane, now that’s what we call proper art or proper metal or a ticking musical timebomb or something like that, the new wave of new…
Daxx & Roxane, the London-based proper old school new school metal whatever school proper metal band are just finishing up their soon to be released debut album. You can catch them at the Garage here in London, over by Highbury and Islington on October 22nd, and they’re cool enough to know a good Krokus song when they hear one, as well as to tear up a slice or two of the mighty MC5. Metal as flip, cool as bag of cats, embroider it on your back, get down to the front… Enough of that, back to Hackney Wick and art and paint and teeth and rucks outside the train station and the Lord Napier…
Now the very best day of art I ever had over in the Wick was when Heavy Metal went to the dogs (and the Hells Angels ran the security!). Motorhead headlined a festival in Hackney Wick, Saxon played, so did Sleek and Spider and Angel Witch, a festival at the now long gone dog track (aka the speedway track). Actually I’m pretty sure Angel Witch pulled out and Tank stepped in. The sound was dreadful, the atmosphere intimidating, the streets were violent, it was the early 80’s, 1982 actually. Back then if we painted walls then we did it with proper car spray paint, serious fumes, none of yer Montana wussiness, paint was hardcore back then, Halfords was the place. That day was the first time I painted in the Wick, not a Toof to be seen back then and the Lord Napier was still an actual boozer full of East End punks and skinheads and locals wanting a ruck with the metal tribes who had come in for the day… The Angels mostly watched and laughed, actually it was one of the worst gigs Motorhead ever played, Fast Eddie had gone, Robbo didn’t look that interested, Hackney was threatening, it was cold and grey – there was a burnt out car that had “welcome to Hackney” painted on it, we tagged a wall or two and got the hell out.
Painted in Hackney Wick many times since that metal-filled day and later involved myself in various Hackney WickEds and the hanging of art drops and art shows at Swan Wharf and exclamation marks and such, and well, had some great adventures over in Hackney Wick. And soon it will all be gone and replaced by expensive flat and more coffee shops and gentrified bars, the art spaces will all be gone and London will no longer be for likes of us. The Olympics really didn’t do that much for those already living and working here, property developers have done well out of the legacy though. Over to Aida Wilde… (sw)
“They say home is where the heart is, but in our case, home is where the art is. Well this may have been the case a while back in Hackney Wick, but these days the sights of cranes, bulldozers, developers and hoardings seem to have replaced the now lesser spotted artist.
This October 14th at Stour Space, Aida Wilde (Aida & The Glorious House of Brag) will once again assemble the ‘Lunatics’ from the recent takeover of the Lord Napier pub (Hackney Wicked 2016), bringing you an immersive, visual and historical experience. By sharing personal photos and archival images and footage with us, the local people of The Wick, Hackney WickED and Save Hackney Wick have contributed to what promises not to be just another gallery show but an insight into this unique community past and present.
For at least a decade, the urban art landscape of the Wick has shaped and developed the aesthetic of this unique pocket of East London. Save Yourselves celebrates the art and the artists who have personal and emotional connections to the area. Many of these artists have gone on to become some of the most prolific street artists of our time. As most buildings are doomed for demolition, subsequently so is the rich heritage of urban art in East London. Is there now anything left to Save, apart from Ourselves?
Exhibiting along with the ‘Lunatics’ will be the launch of the printed posters of Sisters In Print. Sisters In Print is a collective of opinionated sixteen national and international female artists, who share the love of print and print making.
Aida Wilde invited the individuals to participate in the project last year, where they were placed in collaboration with a partner that they may or not have known previously. The prints produced for the show are all printed in Aida’s studio in the heart of Hackney Wick.
Join us to commiserate, commemorate and celebrate what has been, is, and might be, from a community in mourning”.
ARTIST LINE UP for Save Yourself – MOBSTR, Donk, Zombie Squeegee, Static, Fatherless, Edwin, Mighty Mo, Sweet Toof, Dscreet, Unga, Deso, Malarko, Float, DONE, Gregg Abbott (The Hidden Print), Vesna Parchet, Teddy Baden, John Atherton, Hin, Sony, Darren John, RUN, Ronzo, Rowdy, Neoh, David O’Shaughnessy, Cristina Lina, Brenda Goodchild, Helen Ashton, Jo Hicks, Anna Chilton, Xenz, Busk, Fifth Wall TV, Rosa Romeo, Felicity Taylor, Gina Pellicci, Juliette Stuart, Allie Li, Ego. A. Sowinski, Pang, Tek33, ODC & Nudo de Víboras.
Save Yourselves happens between 7-10pm on Friday 14th October, “all welcome”, the show is happening at Stour Space, 7 Roach Road, Hackney Wick, E3 2PA. The exhibition will then be open daily until 31st October 9am-5pm, free entry.
Here’s a whole loads of photos of the Lord Napier and Hackney WickED 2016 and an #artdrop piece or two as Hackney Wick really does go to the dogs…. click on an image to enlarge or run the slide show