A major piece of public art, created by “world-renowned” graffiti artist Stik, has secured planning permission and will be unveiled later this year in Hoxton Square.
The four-metre tall statue, called ‘Holding Hands’, will “symbolise the love expressed between two people, regardless of gender, sexuality, religion, or ethnicity”.
Hackney Mayor Philip Glanville said: ”[The work] will act as a permanent reminder of Hackney’s long history of celebrating creativity and diversity and will ensure our values of inclusivity are shared with future generations.”
He added: ”Hackney is very lucky that Stik has created this beautiful artwork for both residents and visitors to enjoy”.
Stik is funding both the creation and installation of the sculpture, which is being made in collaboration with local Shoreditch based company: ‘The Sculpture Factory’.
According to the council, the statue is based on Stik’s previous work “Hackney Pride”, created by the artist in 2016 to represent the borough at the London Pride parade.
The image proved incredibly popular and, in addition to going on sale as a “hand-stitched” banner to fund an exhibition of work by an LGBTQI+ youth group, was printed as a souvenir poster in the council’s publication: ‘Hackney Today’.
Speaking after the planning permission for the project was secured, Stik said: “I am grateful to the local community who have supported this project from the very beginning.
“The sculpture represents love and respect between people whoever they are”.
About the artist
Stik is a Hackney based artist who started painting what the council now calls “unofficial murals”, on East London streets in the early 2000s.
His art, which features stick figure-like people, has since received international recognition, and he now creates “monumental public artworks” across the world.
A Hackney resident since 2010, Stik works from a studio in Hoxton, and has “close, personal connections to the area”.
Having overcome “long-term homelessness”, the artist frequently gives back to the community, donating tens of thousands of pounds a year to local charities, including Homerton hospital and, most recently, Project Indigo, Hackney’s LGBTQI+ youth group.