Sunday, 31 July 2011

Hackney Wicked

Yesterday, I went on my first art expedition in a long time. Crowds of new trendies and a few older art explorers got off Hackney Wick train with me and headed down the ramp, following the exotic sounds of live music coming from a distance. As it turned out, the music wasn't exactly great but it seemed to work like this: the more loud and offensive the sound the more people congregated, creating a heavy Notting hill Carnival feel in this industrial mini-city.

I remember only being to Hackney Wick once before and crossing large motorways on a cold night in an attempt to locate this warehouse party. It felt like we were crossing the M25! Yesterday Hackney Wick not only bathed in appealing sunshine but also had new Olympic structures inflating around it. The sheer number of people visiting Hackney Wicked on this day made a jolly and exciting east-end happening.

Some of the best work was shown by the few galleries operating in the area - Elevator Gallery and See Studios. I will be showing the work I found there in a future post but for now here is some work that caught my attention as I walked through studios and the streets at Hackney Wicked:

This painting showed an effective use of dimensionality but reminded me a lot of Bridget Riley's op art of the 60s.

Quirky and home-made feel ceramics by Bridget Lennon.

One of the best live musicians I saw was Sonic Manipulator - at once halarious and reminiscent of
the 90s Daft Punk era, he produced a free flowing avant garde electronic sound from a multitude of
theramins, keyboard and electric gadgets strapped all over his body. This was someone masquerading
as an unassuming human sculture from Covent Garden but the movement and music created was
 something much better!

These strong series of spraypainted stencils all had very beautiful lines that seemed to gravitate much closer to the practice of Matisse and fine art than those by Banksy. Ernst Altmann invents a miraid of shapes making up his wild and mythological creatures, giving them a sharp, angular and somewhat iconic feel.

The gown on the left had an assortment of dangerous medical equipment attached to it like a string of medals, including medical scissors, syringes and liquid disinfectant packs.
A beautiful abstract pencil drawing by Peter Currey.

Through a large car park there was an interesting workshop going on which went largely unnoticed by the main festival goers. I believe it was called Remade in July - Hackney Wick Workshop, which consisted of creating various pieces of furnitue on the spot from boarding material used to close off the construction sites at the London Olympics. I was told that the Olympic team had used a much higher grade of materials than would have been adequate and the government's waste of money in this way prompted them to reuse the material.