Friday Late kicks off the V&A East project in Hackney Wick

“It’s not the first time we’ve done a Friday Late off-site, but it’s the first time that we’ve done it in this way across different venues, throughout Hackney Wick,” said Jenna Mason, the V&A’s Friday Late Programme Curator and Coordinator.

Friday Late is a monthly programme that happens on the last Friday of every month at the V&A in South Kensington, and this was the first it went to east London for the night. The aim was to explore how artists and designers are responding to the changing cityscape of east London.

“I think Hackney Wick is a really good location for us to start thinking about the place, space and how that impacts vibrant creative communities,” said Mason.

“The subject that we were exploring at this late was how creative communities respond to changing urban landscape, lack of space, and the impact that has on their communities. And that’s what we see, a really key subject for creative communities across London and actually across the world. But I think Hackney Wick is a really good example of where that’s happening at the moment.”

Friday Lates seek to address contemporary issues that resonate with what the museum wants to do with the audience. The subject This Must Be The Place considers how changes in an urban environment impact creative communities.

“We’ve been talking about it for probably a year, but started scraping out venues and thinking about where we would want to have it since July,” Mason said.

“Doing anything that’s outside of the museum is complicated because in the museum we have really set processes. I think it’s really challenging working in new environments where you don’t know how the setup will be. You have a limited amount of time, whereas we’re in the museum we can set up all day if we need to. But when you’re working in a different place, you have less control over what happens.”

This Friday Late is part of the pre-opening programme for the V&A East project – a new museum at Stratford Waterfront, and a collection and research centre at Here East, opening in 2023.

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