Hackney WickED Ten happens this weekend, a whole load of open artists studios, shows, art events, exhibitions from Friday July 26th until Sunday July 29th. Hackney Wick has drastically changed over the last ten years and especially the last four or five, actually it drastically changes on a monthly basis now, wasn’t there a big red building over there last week? It is still said to be “London’s biggest open studio event” with around forty “cultural venues & spaces from Hackney Wick & Fish Island joining forces to co-create this years’ programme”. The are is changing drastically, the slightly anarchic DIY feel that fostered so much creative positivity is giving way to a more controlled and dare we say marketed environment now. Those who are still there are having to live with the mostly heartless developments and the armies of builders and the threat of bridges that really aren’t needed, a lot of the artists and designers have been forced out but the Wick still has something and the Hackney WickEd weekend does offer the chance to explore the creativity and some of the inner workings and the many artists still working in what the marketers now tell us is “London’s ‘Creative Square Mile'”.
“For one weekend only, art lovers from across London and the world are invited to Explore the labyrinth of spaces that make up “London’s Creative Square Mile”, be Inspired and Buy new artworks from a range of artists – from renowned international names to the exciting new generation of the grassroots scene, students, and everything in between – A snapshot of Hackney WickED 10 and the many activities includes: the opportunity to view studios of over 100 of London’s leading contemporary artists from SPACE Studios, Stour Space, Grow Studios, London Centre for Book Arts, Arbiet Studios, Studio Wayne McGregor, Mother X and more. Numerous exhibitions, including the Hackney WickED group show <WHO ARE WE>, Unit G Gallery’s WickED Walls, Felstead Studios Anniversary Group Show and pop-up exhibitions across the area. Aida Wilde has a show, Morning Gloryville’s world-renowned sober rave is apparently happening, film screenings at The Yard Theatre. A diverse programme of participatory events, including House of Hackney WickED workshops, ‘Hidden Hackney Wick’ walking tours with Hackney Tours, POWER Space dance, Mesmeric Drawing with Mellisa Alley and much more…”_
Yesterday, the Wednesday before the Friday night kick off, there was a real feel of things being prepared, spaces being made ready, shows being installed, sure, it isn’t like it was, you can’t expect bands on the streets or an impromptu rave on the road while the red London buses try to get through, you can’t expect too many beautifully evolved old buildings and artists really getting to do things in a way they once did before the twin attack of the Olympics and gentrification combined to rip the community apart, but you can still find pockets of the spirit and the defiance in places like the old Space studios, a complex of artist studios that has now been there for decades, exploring Space studios and some of the painters that have been there for years really is a treat. You will still hopefully find some of the spirit at the official Hackney WickED group show <WHO ARE WE> although that is taking place in the ground floor shell of yet another cold looking new build, more of those flats that non of the East London’s creative community can ever realistically dream of affording.
I really didn’t expect Hackney WickEd to still be a thing in 2019, the fact that it is hopefully is still a positive, I don’t go there half as much as I once did, when I do I’m hit with all kinds of conflicted emotion about the people forced out and the buildings pulled down, the art spaces destroyed, the creativity castrated by “development”. I said I wouldn’t take part in WickEd again as an artist, I did for what I thought would be the last time in 2017, I am taking part in the Who Are We group show this time though and I do recommend exploring the spaces that are still there, the street art that is still on those walls (there’s some impressive graff at the moment, it does look like it will be well worth exploring some of the painter’s studios and the massive efforts of those still pulling the Hackney WickEd weekend together in the face of it all. (and if you do fancy a pint or some food then Stour Sapce, an artist run place, id the space to had for, support your own spaces as it were)
<Who Are We>, the Hackney WickED Group Show 2019 hapens at The Trampery, Fish Island Village, Hackney Wick, London, E3 2PL – A group show to kick off the always rewarding annual Hackney WickEd weekend over here in East London. The opening view thing is on Friday, 26th July 2019 from 6pm until 9pm – <WHO ARE WE?> “Turbulent political, physical and environment times are creating major shifts in what we’ve known, how societies operate, and how we define ourselves and our identities as human beings. This state of instability, or perhaps transition has created much food for thought and given rise to different templates of being. It is this moment in time that has inspired our official Hackney WickED Group Show for 2019, we ask you to consider: Who are you? Who are we? Be it in a personal context, local context, national context, global context or a universal context as just particles of energy existing across multiple planes”. The show opening times:, Friday 26th July: 6pm – 9pm, Saturday 27th July: 12pm – 6pm and Sunday 28th July: 12pm – 6pm.
if you don’t know the area or you haven’t been there for a couple of weeks and find yourself completely lost in all the new builds, easiest thing to do it to head for good old Stour Space then walk 50 yards down the road towards the water and that bridge, past the shop and the show is in one of the buildings that in the warren of new builds opposite the gates to the Omega Works, once you get to the Omega Works gates it is rather easy to find and it did look rather exciting as the show was being installed yesterday. Who We Are happens at The Trampery Fish Island Village, Roach Road, Fish Island, London, E3 2PL, Hackney Wick isn’t what it was, Hackney WickEd itself, like the area, has evolved but the weekend and the art both inside and out is still well worth exploring, I;m rather looking forward to it… (sw)