This just in from Stik… “The official Hackney 2016 Pride in London Banner designed by Stik will be auctioned at Christies to raise funds for a local LGBTQ+ organisation or charity. Based on recent auction sales of £35,000 this sale promises to be a substantial funding opportunity. Hackney Council who commissioned the banner will be assisting Stik in the selection process, applications for the grant can be made here”. Good to see this happening, I’ll refrain from saying anything about the lack of support for art, art spaces and Hackney based artists from Hackney council and indeed the obstacles the council constantly throw up. and instead applaud this.
Stik says: “I was delighted to represent Hackney in the London Pride parade last year. Our vibrant and varied community is known around the world and I am proud to live here.”
The banner is currently on display at Hackney Museum. .
Past, Present and Future…
“Three figures representing the past, present and future of Shoreditch rise high over the former artists’ district, home now to only a handful of artists. The first figure looks longingly back on Old Street where artists once thrived, the second peers out at the encroaching billboards, uncertain of how long the few remaining artists can afford to stay, the third teeters precariously, to succeed or move on is yet to be seen. This mural is intermittently obscured by an advertising hoarding and is visible only on certain weeks of the year”.
This particular Stik, on an old chimney in Hackney, was probably his best loved East London pieces. The photo was taken in 2011, people would stop and ask about it, stand in the street looking up at it, it acted like a beacon looking down on Hackney from a high, it guided us home, locals loved it, old ladies would ask about it, kids would point at it and smile, when things were pecking at you you just had ot look up at it . And then, like everything else, the building got gentrified, the people who lived there got thrown out, and the new owner when asked said he was turning it into an “art centre” and that he needed to clear off the “messy vandalism”. His so-called art centre turned out to be a rather expensive restaurant, bar and club, a place where none of the real locals can afford to go or are made to feel welcome, a place that doesn’t want to engage in any kind of way,. a place for the expensive coffee drinkers to go sit and grow their beards. When the sun shines on the tower you can still see the traces of what was one of my favourite pieces of East London art. One by one arrogance is forcing us all out of the city, Hackney is not a place for artists now, the council, one the whole, doesn’t care that much about art, artists or art spaces… Shame really, art is best when it really can engage with people and community, like the art of Stik engages with people. Hackney, you need to treasure yout art, your artists and your art spaces, we are part of your community aren’t we? (sw) .