Hackney art studio calls for public submissions

Pic: Tomas Jivanda

Lying on the corner of Hackney Downs park is a huge industrial factory. With concrete walls and a dreary car park, it looks like any other unit in the capital. It is, however, home to one of the largest artist communities in East London. It is planning a transformation and wants your help.

Hackney Downs Studios is calling for artists, schools and community organisations to submit their ideas for an outdoor exhibition that aims to change the building’s industrial image.

Simply titled ‘The Wall’, the plan is to create a dynamic gallery covering a concrete wall that spans the car park. Sam Curtis Lindsay, projects manager at the studios, said he wants to make the “unfriendly and unapproachable” space as inviting as possible.

The brief is ‘anti-industrial’ and the team want the work to be vibrant. Stressing that it’s open to all, they’re looking for submissions covering a variety of different mediums, styles and disciplines.

The idea came from Ayesha Emerson, an artist who works at the studios and in the onsite cafe. Talking about the project she said “we have this massive community of artists in the studios – we’ve got a creative restaurant and gallery space but in the middle of it there’s this weird dead space, it seemed strange that in such a creative area that’s what it was like.”

The studio maintains a large focus on community interaction and this project is no different, which is why they have already spoken to schools and other organisations about getting involved.

Emerson said: “It’s nice to be able to give opportunities to people that wouldn’t necessarily get them. I think the chance to work alongside working artists is quite an inspiring project to do; to see their artwork up on the wall next to well known artists and designers is pretty awesome, I would have loved to have that when I was a kid.”

Echoing this, Lindsay said: “We’re casting the net really wide and have approached everyone from artists that we already know to a general call out, we’ve really targeted the community and had someone from Lee House [a neighbouring mental health centre] down today to talk about how they can get involved with the project.”

Jenny Thompson, a multimedia artist living in Hackney hopes that her use of bright colours will earn her a place in the exhibition. She said “I think it’s really exciting, it will be really nice to have that space colourful and more ambient and diverse, it would be great to be involved.”

Each artist will be given a 120cm  by 120cm plywood sheet to work on and a space in the studio will be provided in late November to complete the panels. If you would like to be a part of the exhibition, send your proposal to ayesha@creativenetworkpartners.com by 14 November.

‘The Wall’ opens on 6 December at Hackney Downs Studios, Amhurst Terrace E8 2BT.

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