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.
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.
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.
“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.