“ Hackney Wick, to me, feels like a place where anyone who steps foot into the area, is free to be themselves. Between its streets and yards anything can happen, all forms of expression, uniqueness and individuality. It is hard to find that kind of spirit anywhere else in London. The film I hope, portrays this reality along with the artists who make this ex-industrial corner of London, their own.”Martha McAlpine- the filmmaker
Walking through Hackney Wick right now is like walking through part-demolition and part-construction site. It is a brutal scene. New generic brown apartment blocks are being erected from the rubble of the old victorian industrial buildings which have been brought down to make way for them.
“I am just scared, of sanitisation, homogenisation…. and we are a very close community.”Aida Wilde, Hackney Wicked DIY Open Studios, Summer 2016
Artists are being evicted from their studio homes by the day but their art still lingers around every corner, on every wall. This time the wall-canvass has become a space for protest. The work of Aida Wilde amongst others are plastered around the Wick. Slogans that shout things like ‘Out with the hippies, in with the yuppies’, ‘For sale‘ and ‘Everything must Go‘, can be seen prominently on the walls next to buildings which are set to become flats or other ‘commercial’ space.
Hackney Wick is the latest victim of gentrification in our capital and although the artist community has been aware of this inevitability for years, it is still very painful to witness. The destruction of the studios and the gradual forcing out of an entire community. Not only a community but culture; a significant hub for art-making and a unique way of a life that is quickly becoming extinct in the new post modern, post industrial cities of the future. Hackney Wick is also a place where visitors come from around the world to see and buy art every year at the Hackney WickED Artist Open Studios.
Save Hackney Wick are doing their best to fight for Vittoria Wharf which is due to be demolished in order to make way for a bridge as part of the new residential areas. Check out their website for how you can help them.
Meanwhile Back In Hackney Wick… documents the re -painting of the Lord Napier pub, planned and realised by Aida Wilde and Anna Maloney for the 2016 Hackney WickED Open Studios. It also features the Burning of Homogenisation Funeral Procession which was devised and brought together by Marie Brenneis and Aida Wilde.