30 July – 1 Aug 2010
Hackney Wick is bohemian, decaying, swampy and trendy though a lot of its post industrial bleakness is being surrendered to the concrete sports temples rising out of the mud and mire. Some of the resilient local artist community, 670 or so the promotional bumpf proclaims like some kind of statistical triumph, have had their doors levered open for the annual Hackney Wicked art festival now in its third year.
One of the coolest bits of work was an outdoor-internal installation called Tompson’s Tunnel, featuring miniature concrete steps leading up to a tunnel burrowing into the building with tiny Slinkachu-esque naked figures striding the landscape. The figures looked like they may have been wrapped in foil then lost their skin to first degree burns in some grotesque bbq related accident. The illusion of depth in the tunnel was enhanced by a mirror fitted at the end. Bugger to photograph mind.
Quite a bit of live painting had taken place the day before in and around that White Post Lane car park including pieces Snoe, Cept, Seks, DScreet, Busk and Xenz.
Also in that same car park, intertwined down the structure of the back staircase is one of those robot wooden arms similar to the ones seen at Prescription Art in Brighton last year.
Normally you wouldn’t have polite access to these sweatshop buildings, various handwritten notices pleading for the return of missing items or threatening dire retribution if perpetrators of theft are caught indicate why. The best part of these buildings being open is the opportunity afforded for access to roof spaces and elevated windows, yielding panoramic views and close up shots of rooftop graffiti gems.
Arriving early like around mid-day, when stalls selling home-made carrot cake out-number carrot cake eaters, had the dual peril of artists still being tucked up in bed and if they were there, you were likely to be the only rubber necker keeping the artist company. You hope as you mooch un-certainly into the heart of the studio that your face doesn’t betray any particular look of horror.
On a hunch that he might have finally surfaced by 2.30pm, a return to the Peanut Factory found Joseph Loughborough aka illjoseph, bright eyed and demon breathed after a bit of a session the previous night.
Joe has been an artist I have admired for several years and the work on his studio walls was just stunning. Some of them are on his flickr account and without being critical of Joe’s photography, flicks don’t have a fraction of the impact of seeing these fo’ real. Joe was sitting there producing one of his latest series of frenzied, fragmented and smudged charcoal portraits. For me this brief visit was the highlight and made the Eastwards schlep worthwhile (and the bit about demon breath probably isn’t true).
In, around and beyond Hackney Wicked photographs ‘ere