Autumn…. leaves…. leaf colour…. Yesterday it was about the pleasure and the colour of the falling leaves. Today it was about more art drops, recycled cakes, increasing rents and the problem that is the creative people who keep this city’s vibrancy flowing being chased out by the heartless greed of those squeezing us.
#365ArtDrops Part 274, painted on a small piece of recycled found hardboard and left outside of what was until recently the home of Look Mum No hands, a bike cafe and bar that until recently was underneath the Trampery, a complex of fashion design studios and such here in Hackney.. A hive of creativity until recently when their rent was suddenly increased 400% and everyone had to leave with very little notice. Now some might say the Trampery and the gentrified expense of Look Mum No Hands was part of the problem forcing the real independent creatives and the people who have lived around here or years out, but when organisations like The Trampery are in turn being forced out then what hope is there for the rest of us? When people like The Trampery are being forced out then surely we have a very serious problem here in East London? Rumour has it the 400% rent increase has something to do with a deal done between the building owners and the multi-national corporation that is Nike, apparently Nike who want take over the building so their workers can be based somewhere cool and creative (not the sweatshop workers stitching together expensive replica football shirts for next to nothing we assume).
Meanwhile, at Maison Dellys, “a small cafe in an old terrace beside the triangle of trees where Columbia Rd meets the Hackney Rd. In this quiet spot, you may rely upon a peaceful cup of tea and a snack at an affordable price – a commodity that grows increasingly scarce in this part of the East End. Farid Djebrouni opened his cafe eleven years ago and has worked hard to build up a significant clientele and reputation, but next week on Friday 30th October Maison Dellys will be closing forever in the face of a rent increase from £11,000 to £27,000 a year”
And just along Mare Street developers continue to destroy Vyner Street, when we moved in there and took over the small corner that was to be Cultivate for three years, there was 14 galleries and independent art spaces, now besides the two big commercial gallery spaces that are Wilkinson and the not really a gallery anymore thing that is Degree Art, there is nothing left, the soul of a very special street has been ripped apart. In recent weeks parts of the #365ArtDrops piece have been left on buildings that once houses much loved music venues, on buildings where creative people once created but no longer can, this is no accident, every drop is carefully placed. A 400% rent increase? This won’t be that creativity happening around here for too much longer. Art needs to be about community.
#365ArtDrops part 269, was originally hung with the Autumn leaves in a tree in Victoria Park last week. it stayed there for a couple of days until we saw a post on social media from someone who declared he had located it and added to it. We weren’t too pleased to see what had been added and so we took it away and today the piece was rehung on a wall outside of a rather busy Netil House Market here in Hackney, London E8