The Hackney Wicked festival is fast becoming the sort of event that needs to be scheduled into the calender well in advance such is it’s growing appeal. This year saw crowds unlike festivals of previous years as the area around the Wick and Fish Island opened up the doors of it’s studios to give visitors an artistic treat.
Nestled in the shadow of the newly landscaped Olympic Park, it’s cleaned up and well tendered canals and trendy cafes are a far cry from the Wick of yesteryear. More than once, speaking to some of the long serving inhabitants of the artistic studios, they reminded me that it wasn’t always the case. There was a time pre-Olympics that the Wick was all but a no-go area.
Now it’s all change, the artists studios are still there and it’s artistic vibe is something that should be kept hold of although the increasing rents caused by it’s proximity to London’s newest district are causing some concern.
Hackney Wicked reminds us just what makes this area unique. The Formans Smokehouse famous for it’s salmon transforms into the Fish Island Riviera. The area around the Crate Brewery, a party zone at the best of times gets even trendier and the streets around Wick throng with street art, music and street food.
Highlights for me included the sheer volume of street art from the likes of Hackney Wick locals Paul Insect and Sweet Toof; the artists opening up their doors to their studios; artist Sean Worrall creating over 100 pieces of free art and leaving them all over the place for people to find and take home; and of course the amazing vibe of the place. But for this post I thought I’d share with you some pictures from the event from the day that the Wick opened it’s doors and held it’s biggest party of the year.
The Hackney Wicked festival took place from Friday 1st August to Sunday 3rd August with Inspiring City visiting on the second day. Artist studios visited were in the Bridget Riley Studios and Britannia Works studios both of which are housed in old warehouse buildings on Fish Island.