“If You Throw It Out The leaves Will Grow”, last week at Hackney WickEd…


An installation at the Inside Out show, Here East, Hackney Wicked 2017

One week on from the opening of that Here East show and everything that went with it over the weekend at Hackney Wicked last week. There’s plenty of conflicted thought, words, turmoil, fractured photos and long pieces in terms of the show and the whole weekend to be explored over on the Organ pages, the plight of Hackney Wick and the community there is something very emotive, The Organ is the place for more of what happened during the WickEd weekend, including a word or two from the opening night of Inside Out. This page is about the actual art – although the  art and the emotion of what is happening in Hackney Wick right now can’t really be divorced –  – the actual art and the notion of leaves and fresh layers growing on the things we throw out, the old unwanted frames, the pieces of wood, the beer bottles and pieces of astroturf, the books, the pieces of wood picked up from outside the building, and the canvas found in skips as studios are emptied and closed by the arrogant developers.

The installation at the Inside Out show (curated by Gavin Turk and Anna Maloney) was called “If You Throw It Out The leaves Will Grow”, it consisted of several recent paintings and leaves (tags if you wish) on found objects including a piece of red fabric from the Neo Naturists show at the ICA last year very diliberately places within the pice alongside several beer bottles drawn on as the opening night evolved and people threw them away – if you throw them away then leaves will grow     And there may have been a bit of leaf growth elsewhere around the Wick….

Clcik on an image to enlarge or to run the slide show (lots more photos of the night on the Organ page)




43s, car parks, 199 daily paintings and…

The ongoing notions of daily paintings throughout the year, fresh leaf growth and things that revolve around the number 43 (that one down there happened in a car park in Liverpool a couple of years back).  There’s been 199 daily paintings now, this being the 199th day of the year, some of them have been seen hanging on gallery walls, some left on the street for people to take, some sold on-line (all 199 can be seen on this page) , some saved for a show later this year. It isn;t about starting and finishing a piece every day, it is about bringing one to a conclusion and every day on the year…


Car parks and 43s were not something deliberate, well not when it started, they might be now, that and #43ArtDrops like the one that happened at Hackney Wicked last year, the recent #43ArtDrop that happened recently on the Leytonstone Arts Trail and the 43 Miniature canvas pieces at the Art Car Boot Fair a couple of weeks back.  I imagine the number 43 might figure again at Hackney WickEd this year as well as September’s Folkestone leg of the 2017 Art Car Boot Fair….


Today’s daily painting:  199/365 – Fresh Leaf Growth, July 18th – Fresh growth, new layers, leaves and the ongoing notion of a smaller painting brought to a completed conclusion on every single day of 2017. On day 199, a 199th piece, acrylic, brushwork, spray paint, on found recycled cardboard 20cm x 15cm. And now on line and on-sale via the Cultivate web shop.


199/365 – Fresh Leaf Growth, July 18th Fresh growth, new layers, leaves and the ongoing notion of a smaller painting brought to a completed conclusion on every single day of 2017. On day 199, a 199th piece, acrylic, brushwork, spray paint, on found recycled cardboard 20cm x 15cm

Carefully hanging and never dropping the 43ArtDrop piece around Hackney Wicked….

#43ArtDrop, Hackney Wick, July 2016

#43ArtDrop, Hackney Wick, July 2016

The 43 parts that made up the #43ArtDrop piece were (carefully) hung out on the streets around Hackney Wick, Fish Island and the canal yesterday. Carefully hung, never dropped, that would be careless.  A piece of art in 43 parts, all 43 painted on two recycled unwanted wooden pallets picked up off the East London street, painted, and then cut in to 43 parts and painted on some more.

The 43 pieces we’re all painted, a thorny piece of fresh growth on each one, a message on a sticker on the back, a hash tag and request for finders to post photos, a selfie with their find or a just a photo of the piece on their wall, post up those photos and use the hashtag, no so on the end, it is one piece called #43ArtDrop, post the images on social media for us to find.

#43ArtDrop, ready to go

#43ArtDrop, ready to go

So all 43 parts of the piece were hung out around Hackney Wick over the Saturday of the Hackney Wicked weekend, 43 parts of the piece all hung there for people to take should they wish to. Hopefully people would be respectful enough to only take one it, had thought about saying so on the back, but no, surely no need? (A little disappointing to see someone post a photo on instargram of ten of them all on her desk with a declaration that she was trying to find them all, I must confess that photo had be thinking about the notion of art and just giving it away for free and….)

the message on the back....

the message on the back….

43 pieces hung out and around the streets and especially on the landmark that is the old Lord Napier pub (love what Aida Wilde and her friends did with the place earlier in the week…).  43 pieces left out, #43ArtDrop hashtag on the back, let’s see where they go and if we ever hear about any of them again.  Let’s hope for photos and tales of where they have gone and who found them, where they are hanging and who said what, this is partly about engagement and interaction and art being for all, about getting involved and not just having it locked behind closed gallery doors or in collections.

Rather like leaving pieces of art for people to take, especially when it has been painted on something left on the street or in a skip, something that was heading for landfill. And especially when the pieces are left to be found somewhere as vitally important to a community as Hackney Wick is – a place loved and tended to by artists when virtually no one else seemed to care that much.  Treasure these places while you can, treasure your art spaces and the energy artists bring to dying places, treasure the creativity and don’t just push it and us all out  #savehackneywick

A big thanks to everyone who got involved in the #43ArtDrop and everyone who made Hackney Wicked happen again this year. The photos of people with their parts of the piece are starting to appear on line, we shall gather them up and collect them together…

#43ArtDrop, Hackney Wick, July 2016

#43ArtDrop, Hackney Wick, July 2016


Here’s an album documenting all 43 pieces as they were hung, some of them weren’t there for long, others hung around for a bit, some of them may still be there?

Click on an image to enlarge or to run the fractured slide show

The (on-going) saga of #365ArtDrops piece part 131…

#365ArtDrops Part 131, re-painted, re-hung

#365ArtDrops Part 131, re-painted, re-hung

The (on-going) saga of part 131 of the #365ArtDrops piece.  Part 131 was painted on a piece of hardboard found on a Hackney back street, one of three painted on what looked like one-time pieces of an Ikea-style book shelf, black shelves from a smashed up piece of furniture left on a Hackney street.  Part 131 was painted on, hooks and strings were added, details stuck to the back of the piece, and off it went with about a dozen other numbered pieces that were hung out around Hackney Wick during the last weekend of June, off to hang on the streets during the Hackney WickEd weekend.

#365ArtDrops Part 131, Hackney WickEd

#365ArtDrops Part 131, Hackney WickEd

Part 131 was hung on a gate not far from Stour Space gallery and just around the corner from the DenCity weekend installation, hung on a gate that had been painted (a longtime ago) by Sweet Toof. We hung it, took some photos and left it there for someone to take (should they wish to that is). From what we see, most of the art drop pieces are taken rather quickly, some hang around a little longer but they do all appear to be taken (I keep half-expecting a council official with a clipboard to get on my back about litter, so far that hasn’t happened).  Seems no one really got a chance to take part 131, according to other people, it got painted over rather quickly, appears someone attacked it rather quickly with black spray paint, got all Rothko with it, none more black, no idea who or why (well no, not quite true, note was taken in terms of who had been painting just up the street with black paint that day). Once a piece is hung it really is out of my hands, not for me to say what should or shouldn’t happen to it, if someone wished to paint it black then painted black it shall be it (although this one did feel destructive rather than creative). People sent in photos, commented on it… there it was, painted black but still hanging where it had originally be left

#365ArtDrops Part 131, re-painted, re-hung

#365ArtDrops Part 131, re-painted, re-hung

So the piece was retrieved, repainted, and last week rehung back out on the street, Bethnal Green this time, top of the ever evolving art-filled Clare Street.  And there it hung throughout the weekend until some railway workers came along to repair the bridge yesterday. Will it survive? What will happen next? Who painted it black anyway? What was that about?

#365ArtDrops Part 131

#365ArtDrops Part 131

On with the #365ArtDrops, 215 of them out there now, part 216 and 217 almost certainly going out later today…. 215 out there already, 150 still to go, it really is a year-long piece of work,,,


After last weekend’s careful hanging of pieces around Fish Island…

After last weekend’s careful hanging of pieces around Fish Island and Hackney Wick, the #365ArtDrops go on today and this week around London. An important part of this year long piece of work is people using the hashtag and posting photos of themselves with the pieces they find, or photos of where they have chosen to hang the pieces. We’d like to document it all at the end of the year when all 365 parts have been left out.

#365ArtDrops Part140

#365ArtDrops Part140

My Hackney Wicked weekend and the Fifth One Hundred Pieced art piece….


A Facebook photos cut ‘n pasted here…

The Monday morning after the brilliant weekend before, Wicked hangover? Always is on the Monday after the week before, it was certainly colourful this weekend over at Hackney Wick and as art festivals go Hackney WickED is rather uniquely organic. A beautifully cocktail or curated events, consider spaces, formal presentations alongside impromptu explosions of performance, creativity and just the right amount of artistic anarchy. It isn’t anarchy though, the sixth annual weekend event takes months of planning, coordinating, curating (and rightfully this year, for the first time, a little bit of Arts Council funding for some of the more formal events). A real sense of artists coming together and doing it themselves, a sense of artistic danger, a feel that it can be done, that the white cube system can’t control everything and that if you really want it, this is where you find it. This is not an attempt to review the weekend, this is not around up of events, there were far too many to even think of doing that this Monday morning (but hey, if anyone wants to submit any photos they might have take we might try and pull something together in terms of a visual record in a day or two).


The weather was excellent, save for a dramatic downpour that soaked those of us who were up preparing things, dropping art and such early on on the Saturday morning. Indeed my first Saturday morning visit was pretty much shared with no one but the foxes and swans, the real calm before the artistic storm. What was I doing up at 6am with the foxes? On my bike with a heavy back pack, dropping off the first of the Fifth One Hundred Pieced pieces around the wick.

wicksat18For the last Month or so I have been pulling together the fifth in a series of One Hundred Pieced Pieces, this time painting on one hundred found pieces, one hundred unwanted things – pieces of wood picked up off the street, unwanted painted canvases retrieved from the bins of art studios, old doors dumped on the pavement, an smashed plinth thrown on to Vyner Street, worn out skateboard decks… Things all painted, leaves and growth added and painted ready to go back out on to the streets they came from. All numbered and labeled 9and yes you can see hearts if you want, hearts, leaves, leafhearts, the choice is yours, no interpretation is right or wrong). Some of them to Hackney Wick for the WickED weekend and some back on to the streets of East London. Originally it was to be all one hundred at Hackney Wicked, as the weekend evolved so did the plan, for the best laid plans always evolve, fifty to the Wick to birth the drop and fifth more around the streets, canals, walls and pub signs of East London during August, keep an eye out around the canal, Redchurch Street, Vyner Street, Hackney Road and such…. Hackney Wicked was a pleasure, a shared pleasure…. people twittering about their finds and Facebooking their photos, sharing the pieces, i guess some of them found their way in to the bins of the clean up teams at the end but that’s where they were to start with so nothing lost, a few unwanted things given new life. I enjoyed my part in the Hackney WickED weekend, on we go throughout August with the recycling and releasing of the Fifth One Hundred Pieced Piece… . (SW)

Lots more vital information, imagery and the whys and wheres and how you find things and more more more over there via www.hackneywicked.co.uk

Please click on an image to enlarge or run the slide show….


The fifth One Hundred Pieced Piece will be released during this year’s HACKNEY WickED festival weekend

One Hundred Pieced Piece #1, Art Car Boot Fair 2013 The first One Hundred Pieced Piece happened last year ahead of the 2013 Brick Lane Art Car Boot Fair, the first One Hundred Pieced Piece consisted of one hundred pieces of found and recycled cardboard, all one hundred pieces painted at the same time, each piece of what was considered one piece of work made up of one hundred pieces sold for £1 per piece. One hundred people sharing one piece of work that was sold for £100. The piece sold very quickly in the sunshine of last year’s Art Car Boot Fair.  The pleasure of An art piece of relatively no.financial value (although you ebay flippers seemed to make a penny or two out of it last year).  The second and third One Hundred Pieced Pieces were also (recycled) cardboard based, the second one a pink One Hundred Pieced Piece made for the Pink group show at Cultivate last Autumn and the third and what was declared to be a final One Hundred Pieced Piece was the third One Hundred Pieced cardboard Piece that happened for a Durst Thursday at Cultivate back in December 2013.

One Hundred Pieces Piece #2, "Pink" at Cultivate

One Hundred Pieced Piece #2, “Pink” at Cultivate

And that seemed like a healthy place to leave the notions of a piece of work shared between a hundred different people. The three works achieved most of what I wanted, simple uncomplicated art making use of unwanted discarded material reclaimed from the street, art that anyone  can enjoy a slice of, it explains itself doesn’t it? Until a pile of vinyl was found, most of it beyond playing, all scratched and piled up by a bin at the back of the charity shop. All one hundred pieces of vinyl painted at the same time

Founded wood painted on - One Pieced Piece #5

Founded wood painted on – One Hundred Pieced Piece #5

The fifth One Hundred Pieced Piece will be released during this year’s HACKNEY WickED festival weekend at the start of August. The piece will consist of one hundred found objects, objects found discarded and unwanted on the Hackney/Wick streets, canal banks and such.  items found over the summer – packing cases, pieces of textured weathered wood, doors, old signs, other people’s art – paintings thrown in skips, things brought in to Cultivate, canvases left in the Vyner Street bins by other galleries, paint cans, radiators, cardboard.  The pieces will all be painted on, added to, labelled as free art, numbered, and left around Hackney Wick during the festival for people to take away.  (and, yes, anything left at the end will be collected up and evolved in to something else, this is about recycling unwanted resources )  The process will once again be documented as it evolves via the various social media platforms we all know and love – Twitter, Facebook and such, the piece and the pieces is/are being worked on now at Cultivate, some of it is on the wall (some of it is on exhibition right now in Fulham at the Big Mix 6 show at the Loud And Western building.    The hundred pieces will be left around the week ahead of an during the festival that happens over the weekend of August 1st to the 3rd, some will slip in to your pocket or bag, some under your arm, some on the back of your truck or your canal barge or with the help of a friend….

The One Pieced Vinyl Piece (2014)

The One Hundred Pieced Vinyl Piece (2014)

The Second One Hundred Pieced Piece

The Second One Hundred Pieced Piece