Stik has created a new sculpture on Hoxton Square in Shoreditch. Called ‘Holding Hands’ it stands in the middle of the square and has been completely funded by Stik himself. The sculpture shows two non-gender specific stik people holding hands. These are figures which will be very familiar to those in the area who have enjoyed Stik’s work for years.
Working with Hackney Council, the artist has been trying to find a suitable place for a sculpture. The figures shown link back to a previous collaboration back in 2016. Then the council asked him to design the official Hackney banner for the London Pride Festival. The sculpture by Stik on Hoxton Square is based on that design. Once the piece was released the two started working together to find a suitable home for a permanent sculpture of the image.
As an artist Stik is well known for his community work. Having lived and worked in the area for 20 years, his artwork has become instantly recognisable. It’s also been a remarkable journey for the artist. At one point he struggled with homelessness. Living for a time at St Mungo’s Shelter on Mare Street. Since then he’s worked with homeless organisations such as Cardboard Citizens and the Big Issue.
The sculpture by Stik in Hoxton Square is just the latest evolution of his work. Since that time living at St Mungo’s he has taken his work to new levels. Initially painting figures on the street using found paints he now exhibits around the World. His street art has also taken on an ever more epic scale. Massive public artworks of his Stik figures can be found in locations across the globe.
Holding Hands Sculpture on Hoxton Square
The installation of the Holding Hands sculpture by Stik on Hoxton Square is something Hackney Council say demonstrates the value of public art. In particular by using public and green spaces across the borough, this art can be accessible to many.
“Holding Hands itself shows two figures facing in opposite directions” says Stik. “Yet they are holding hands in a sign of universal love and solidarity”. A lot of thought has gone into the placement. “One figure walks determinedly westwards towards the city, the other moves gracefully to the east. Eyes turned to the treetops”. The composition too has been constructed in such a way that “at first one figure appears to lead, then the other”. It depends on where the viewer is standing in relation to the sculpture itself.
The ‘Holding Hands’ sculpture says Stik ” is being installed at a poignant time in our history. When holding hands is not always possible but is a symbol of hope for what has always been and what will be again. The sculpture is intended as a timeless and inclusive meeting place for all regardless of race, sexuality, gender, faith, or social status”.
Holding Hands is a sculpture installed by Stik in Hoxton Square during September 2020. All photographs used in this article where taken just after the unveiling. The project was self funded by the artist and supported by Hackney Council.
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