Tribute Mural to the Hive appears on Kingsland Road

A mural on the Kingsland Road in Haggerston has appeared as a final hurrah for the Hive Dalston which closed it’s doors on 19 November 2017 after two and a half years.

It was never meant to last! The Hive which stands for ‘Human Interest Versatile Environment’ was and is part of a social project which aims to repurpose unused buildings for the benefit of local communities. Often the agreements with such things will be temporary as at some point the owners of the properties will want to develop and indeed that’s what’s happening to the building which once housed the Hive.

morgandy samer
A front view of the mural on Kingsland Road

Respace Projects

The not for profit organisation ‘Respace Projects‘ is behind the project. It was they who kicked things off at the building which would become known as the Hive with a budget of  just £250, a lot of passion and of course a battered shell of a building. It took just two weeks to turn the place around to become a space for exhibitions, workshops and conferences.

Popping down to take a look we even bumped into some of the Hive crew emptying out the building and placing some of the old equipment into storage prior to the impending relocation of the social enterprise. Stopping to chat briefly they seemed pretty chipper and hinted that there might even be a reboot of the Hive appearing shortly.

A flying fish blowing bubbles out of water

The Hive

Situated between Haggerston overground and the canalside lovingly known by the locals as the Haggerston Riviera. The new mural is on the outside hoardings and is a collaboration between street artists Morgasmik, Frankie Strand and Samer. It’s a nice addition to what is a little bit of a street art hub in the area spreading out from where the Kingsland Road meets the canal and is the HIVE’s way of giving a little something back to the public even though the doors are closing.

Curated by Morgan Davy who paints under the name Morgasmik, the artist told me that the mural itself was loosely based on the theory of resistance whereby “nature will never stumble and concrete will always crumble”. His use of bright patterned ‘free flow lines’ are instantly recognisable and completely instinctive. Combined with the animals and birds from Samer and Frankie Strand it provides the passer by with an alternative take on nature and the environment.

Frankie Strand
Two little lizards hiding around the corner from Frankie Strand

Abstract Concept

“I wanted to play on an abstract concept, inspired by the buddhist proverb of ‘As above so below’ by inverting how we perceive landscapes & environments” explained Morgan. “So in the painting we have flying fish with botanical butterfly fins blowing bubbles out of water into skies where the tide rolls in and draws out. We have swimming birds with botanical feathers soaring through skies of ocean landscapes where the moon sets in day and the sun rises at night”

It really is indeed quite some alternative reality and a fitting tribute to the HIVE which itself has attempted to make an alternate reality of its own by turning what once was an unloved shell into a place of creativity and hope. In itself this is an idea which is longer lasting than the building or the mural which, by the nature of such things, will also eventually disappear. Ideas though will be a bit more long lasting and we’ll be looking forward to seeing what iteration of the HIVE pops up next.

The mural at the Hive was visited on Sunday 26 November 2017. It was painted in the days prior to the Hive closing its door on 19 November 2017. For a further article on some of the art in Haggerston Riviera check out these murals on shipping containers from Clandestinos.

Morgan Davy by Troi
Curator Morgan Davy. Picture courtesy of
A bird from Samer and Flow LInes from Morgasmik
Flowing energy from Morgasmik
Bird detail from Samer
The mural with Samer’s fish in the background
Lizards from Frankie Strand looking out onto the Kingsland Road
The mural from the road
Angela Johnson - hive 1
Morgasmik at work into the night. Photo courtesy of @beabeaphotography
Angela Johnson - hive 7
Frankie Strand adding final touches to her lizards. Photo courtesy of @beabeaphotography
curtis jive
Samer from above. Photo courtesy of Morgan Davy
hive 3
Frankie Strand and Morgasmik next to their mural on the Kingsland Road. Photo courtesy of @beabeaphotography


  1. Good to see you talked to Morgan Davy. A very interesting artist with his fingers in many pies!!! I would recommend you sign up to He has been involved in many art adventures bringing underground artists to pop their heads above ground!!! I’m sure a full interview with him would make great reading here. You might have to go south of the Thames to track him down in his birds nest!

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