Hackney WickEd 2016 Pt.1: !RIP HASHTAG!

Hackney WickEd 2016 Part 1 !RIP HASHTAG!

I’m not sure why it has taken me this long to write about what happened at this years Hackney Wicked, but it was a late night prints session last night when it dawned on me that I am grieving and the prospect of actually sitting down and writing about it scares me.

Through the years, I have been witnessed many changes to the areas that I have lived and worked in…first Camden, prior to the Stables Market getting the generic sanitized face lift and then in the thick of it in Brick Lane around 2007/8.

None of them affected me like it has with Hackney Wick. I escaped here in 2008 after the dreaded Credit Crunch swallowed my business.

I think we were the first set of trendies to move in because there was a whole load of people from here moving to Berlin claiming that the area wasn’t what it used to be…I took no offence.

Fast forward to 2016…..same cliché story like I have written before. Artists+ Down trodden area= regeneration/ gentrification

We all know this but what are startling are two things for me. One, it’s like someone has lit a firecracker up the developers and construction workers asses with the rate that they are knocking down and building their homogenized toy town buildings and Two. The lack of competence, organization and foresight of the very organization that was “supposed” to monitor and control the legacy in HW that is the London Legacy Cooperation! Nothing new there either.

NOTHING IS SAFE. Not us, no, no business, no conservation area or building. EVERYTHING IS FOR THE TAKING.



Fast forward again and imagine it’s after May Days Where’s My 10% piece.

I began to think about where to take things from there and I also knew that  my HASHTAG series of works was coming to an inevitable end.

What people need to understand is that HW wasn’t special because of it’s location, it was the kind of people that lived and worked here. It was the artists & creative, even the pretend ones, also the misfits and the under dogs that’s gravitated to here. Most have left now or in the midst of leaving.

I don’t recognize the place anymore but I miss the people.

So my last hurrah for my HASHTAG was SAVE HACKNEY WICKS ARTIST with an added EXTINCTION symbol which is usually used for endangered species…the animal kind!

Fast forward for one last time to July and one Hackney Wicked meeting where I met a representative from the newly formed “Save Hackney Wick”.

They were “Saving” Vittoria Wharf, a beautiful canal side building in Fish Island with over 100 artists operating out of there.

You can read more about the campaign here- https://www.change.org/p/save-hackney-wick-stop-the-demolition-of-vittoria-wharf?tk=xaeyQv4NfpUeYwNOeAP1Zg5cAwnouPqfmpvFid-dfqY&utm_medium=email&utm_source=signature_receipt&utm_campaign=new_signature

I widened my campaign to support their cause and made them specific posters, which attracted much media attention including ITV news.

It is quite amazing what power a poster can have!!!!