Last night, as the third in a series of takeovers at the V&A showcasing the offerings of various art scenes across the city, Hackney Wick landed with its own unique take on what it means to work and create in London today.
Time was, Hackney Wick was an undiscovered treasure, the back and beyond, a rock beneath which teemed creative industry, individual artists and thinkers – something which has been on the cusp of radical change in one direction or another since the arrival of the Olympic games across the canal.
While much was on offer in the way of exploring the wealth of disciplines producing work within the area, the positive community spirit and DIY attitudes now synonymous with the ‘Wick’, where the night got really interesting was in the discussions on change:
Where does the area go from here?
While many speakers spoke of the wish ‘not to let Hackney Wick and Fish Island go the way of Shoreditch’, the importance of protecting the unique qualities of the area, and the challenges faced in the eye of development, answers were few and opinions many.
Key points of note include the V&A’s own interest in creating a satellite venue in the Olympic Park; the needs of the residents who are not part of the relatively new art scene; the increase in the perceived attraction of the area; and the prospect of using the Wick as a testing ground for a new model of affordable urban living.
Contentious but exciting – watch this space.
Photo from Maxi House