East invades west as Hackney Wick takes over the V&A

The work of Hackney street artist Sweet Toof. Photo: Matt Brown

The work of Hackney street artist Sweet Toof. Photo: Matt Brown

On Friday night the east invaded the west – but don’t worry – it was confined to London, as Hackney took over Kensington for one evening only.

The Hackney Wick Takeover was part of the Victoria and Albert Museum’s Friday Late series, which invites London’s creative communities to take over the famed venue for an evening.

Long but fast moving queues stretched around the building for the event, which brought art installations, live performances, fashion, DJs, and moving image, curated by Hackney Wick residents to the museum.

Once inside, visitors were presented with Charlotte Papon’s origami mural of the well-known graffiti on the Olympic Coca-Cola advert, opposite Hackney Wick station.

“People can make shapes, and then put them on the wall, it’s a piece based on the Coca-Cola advert that was painted over but with HW (for Hackney Wick) left over,” said Yannik Jacob, 30, from Hackney Wick.

The museum’s Sackler Centre played host to Hackney Wick Beatbox group, ‘The Beatbox Collective’ who created a nightclub atmosphere with their sounds as guests danced and drunk the evening away.

Other DJs and performers entertained the crowd throughout the evening while they had the chance to take in various other contemporary art installations.

Pen Pushers, an interactive drawing development workshop by The Wick Art Store was also set up in the Sackler Centre. Visitors were encouraged to get involved in creating a fairy tale interpretation of Hackney Wick and Fish Island complete with pirates and canal monsters.

One of Britain’s (and of course Hackney’s) top street artists, Sweet Toof was exhibiting his work, adding to the contemporary vibe of the event, perfectly capturing the Hackney Wick art scene.

Some of the more bizarre art works included a performance piece from a man dressed as a creepy cross breed of a clown and a cowboy, wielding a puppet in the same outfit.

The artist was acting as a ventriloquist for the puppet and went around talking to people with memorable quotes such as “who the hell are you”, and “You eat your mama and its good karma”.

The crowd at the Takeover was diverse, particularly in age, but that didn’t prevent people from socialising and discussing the artwork.

Elizabeth, 23, from Hackney Wick, who had been at the V&A since the very start of the night said: “Its good, I came early at six-twenty thinking I was going to be fashionably late, but really I was early. I like the art; it’s all quite random, especially the guy dressed up as a cowboy!”

However, the Takeover wasn’t everybody’s cup of tea… Ingridz, 30, from Hackney Wick said: “The art was flat lined, the art was dead! There was no art atmosphere but there were lots of people.”

One Response

  1. Martin Simon March 3, 2014

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