Hackney WickED Open Studios 2017 was full of music, art and a lot heart !

Each year, Grow is proud to be part of Hackney WickED DIY Open Studios and 2017 (28-30 July) was no different. This festival gives us a chance to the celebrate the creativity in the area and showcase what happens at Grow week-in-week-out.

This year, we had a jam-packed programme with local talent and some new collaborations in the form of performance, music, participation and art - often all at the same time!

On Friday night, we were excited to host the launch party with a show-stopping line-up which started at 9pm, after the opening of the Group Show across the canal at Here East. This group show was curated by artist Gavin Turk and Hackney WickED director, Anna Malony, and included over 65 artists, including some from Grow Studios, showcasing the wide-ranging quality of the artistic practices across Hackney Wick and Fish Island.

At Grow, we were treated to a stirring performance by Grow favourite Hotdoggrrrl and the Sesame Buns, followed by the amazing beatboxing talent of artist Reeps One, plus sets by local guest DJs Jessi, Ghost Trap and Steffi Timanti.

The following day we put on the Grow Village Fete which created a spectacle within a Spectacle to free us even for a moment. This Village Fete focused on collaboration. Despite the rain, through interactions, sociality and play we tried to disentangle ourselves from our everyday lives. Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi says if we can disentangle we may imagine other possible futures, already in our present, but which we have yet to uncover.  We had manifestations of ‘splat the rat’, ‘human fruit machine’, ‘sponge stock’, ‘hoopla’, a raffle, Canababe cakes and plants from local nursery Growing Concerns, a memorable live performance from brass band, Das Brass culminating in Mixed Bag Of Nuts DJs taking us into the night.  We also had a host of volunteers who sold cakes and played games, helping to raise awareness and £280 for local mental health and arts charity, Core Arts.

The artist behind the fete is co-founder of Grow, Jordanna Greaves. Her work is a humorous protest at what it is to comply to the power systems around us and asks ‘can we play to become something new?’ She often works in collaboration, and this Village Fete, as do all the events at Grow, relies on the sharing economy of artists and musicians of the surrounding area, and everyone who walks through its doors.

On the Sunday,  'Hackney Wick Floating Museum' pulled up canalside in the form of two 30" narrow boats that, in tandem, displaying on their flat roofs, the sculptures of Californian artist Jay J. Filipowicz.

The sun came out long enough to have our resident jazz quartet play canalside and for this special performance, they were joined by Japanese comtemporary dancer, Misa Koide who improvised to their fresh and energetic jazz repertoire. We were also joined DJs Jazzintime and Komajazzz who played the best jazz vinyl in between two sets.

To finish the weekend long-programme, we were joined by members of the Blackcat Soundsystem of Fish Island giving us live music of strickly roots and culture vibrations with a mostly improvised content and selectors into the evening.

We crammed a lot in, and that was just at Grow! There was so many artists and musicians across Hackney Wick and Fish Island sharing their talents and passions and we thank everyone for joining in and making this annual celebration a reality. For a full round up and pics from across the open studios, have a read of Hackney WickED's roundup.

Thanks to Moe Sekiya, Anna Malone and Hackney WickED CIC for the following photos.

Who are 'Adventures in Paradise'? Find out ahead of their annual summer party!

Adventures in Paradise are made up of Michelle and Katie and this dynamic duo have been on our decks from the beginning.  We're chuffed to partner with them not only because they squeeze us into their chocca-bloc schedule but they always bring a positive vibe and a collection of their carefully selected tunes for everyones enjoyment.  Adventures in Paradise join us again on Sat 8 July for their annual summer party so we thought we'd ask them some questions so we all can get to know them that little better...

How did you you both meet?
We met in the summer of 2009 at a Love Fever Loft party, DJ Rahaan was playing, it was a great night! It was in a shared cab to an afters that Michelle said "I know you, you're Katie Barber from the Ladybugz". We ended up hanging out afterwards playing music into the small hours and remained friends from then.

Why did you call yourself 'Adventures in Paradise'?The name comes from Minnie Riperton's third album - an artist we both hugely adore Katie had it in her head to use the name for something for a few years and when we got together, we both agreed it would be perfect to use for parties.

It's since evolved into the name we've given our record label, which is launching with a release from Felix Dickinson's band Dedication featuring Danielle Moore, called 'Show Me Love'. 

What kind of music do you play and what inspires you?
We both have an ear for a very similar sound, and the music we play is a sort of hybrid of Balearic and Disco. The different music styles you would expect to hear in one of our mixes, or at one of our parties at Grow would be, Balearic, Disco, Boogie, House, 80's Synth Wave.

We're both hugely inspired by the music that came out of the underground club scene in New York during the 70s & 80s, places like The Loft, Paradise Garage, The Gallery are very influential for us. Also, in the last few years has been a resurgence of music from Africa from the 70s & 80s, that we both love. We are always excited about discovering new music all the time.

What's the best bits of being a resident DJ duo at Grow?
It's a cool venue with an exceptional ethos and great team behind it.

If you could put some decks anywhere (landmark, country, building, community) in the world and play, where would it be?
It would have to be anywhere in Paradise that we can have a right old adventure!

 

Adventures in Paradise
Adventures in Paradise

Fancy fish on Friday? A Weekend BBQ? Or a meal deal to accompany live jazz?

It's summer so we want to give you the best of what the season brings....

FISH FRIDAY
On Friday 19 May, we're launch fish fridays with Slow Fire London so in addition to our normal menu we're serving up sustainably-caught fish from the seas of the South East.  Fish available midday-3pm & 5-8pm.

The menu will be dependent on the catch of the day (announced on our Facebook page) with each dish lovingly made for your enjoyment on our garden terrance by the River Lea.  To kick us off, on the menu -->  whole plaice, marsh sampshire & fennel salad with sauce vierge (£12) and FLT (fish, lettuce tomato!) bun and fries for £10!

WEEKEND BBQ
Slow Fire London do a mean BBQ.  It's not just the grill, they smoke things first....  It smells good, it tastes good and is washed down nicely with a pint or 2 of Korev, our Cornish larger by St Austell Brewery. Need we say more?

WED & THURS MEAL DEAL
Our Wednesday live jazz jam always brings a crowd because the music is fresh and everyone is welcome.  On Thursdays, we celebrate music, art and conversation.  Both nights are always a lot of fun but we want to offer something extra, so we're introducing a burger and fries deal for just £7.50!
 

Jon from 'Gardening for all' inspires us in how we can all be Gardeners!

New local community gardens group - Hackney WICKed Garden, the Grow Team, our customers and kids from our monthly after-school club have all been getting their hands dirty to learn new skills and knowledge about Spring time gardening to help us make the garden beautiful; more attractive to insects and grow more herbs.  We say a massive thanks to everyone!  All the plants are sourced from the community-based Garden Centre down the canal from us at 'Growing Concerns' - who sell lots of amazing garden goodies...so pop in next time you're near Victoria Park.

It started with kids making wildflower seedbombs to take home and planting Red Riding Tulips at their monthly after-school club;  then during a couple of free workshops, Jon from 'Gardens for All' and the community gardeners helped us and customers of Grow make hanging baskets, demonstrated how to recycle and upcycle materials for the garden and how to get seedlings going...

We've even got a sunflower competition - so come down to Grow to see whose sunflower grows the tallest and enjoy everyones effort in making the canal side garden a nice place to relax and be together!

Join the team to run the Hackney Half on Sun 30 April and support Core Arts!

We're big fans of the work of Core Arts in Hackney so we're putting a team of runners together to take on the Run Hackney Half Marathon on Sun 30 April 2017 to help support them!

This 13.1 mile route takes you all around Hackney and goes past both Grow and Core Arts along the way so we think it's the perfect combo to get fit, have fun and raise some money for this amazing charity - all at the same time.

Core Arts has 23 years experience in providing best practice and best value in Mental Health Creative Day Care in London. They promote positive mental health and wellbeing through creative learning. Providing quality education, training, employment and social enterprise initiatives that enable people who experience mental health issues to overcome barriers, fulfill their potential and participate fully in their community.

Everyday they show how art can change lives and demonstrate just how vital art is!

JOIN THE TEAM

If you want to join in but don't want to run, just come along to Grow on Sun 30 April have have some food and drinks as we'll be donating 10% of the profits from the day.  If you want to run with us, here are 3 simple steps:

3 STEPS

1) Sign up to run the Hackney Half at www.runhackney.co.uk (please note it does cost £53). If you've signed up already, all the better, just go to step 2...

2) Share this JustGiving link below and ask friends and family to donate whatever they can - this is a team page so no pressure but together we can raise vital funds and raise awareness too! 

3) Email hello@growhackney.co.uk to let us know to expect you on the day - we'll have a table reserved for us all to unwind after the run. In return for your effort, lunch and 2 free drinks are on us! Friends and family welcome!

About Core Arts

Core Arts has 23 years experience in providing best practice and best value in Mental Health Creative Day Care in London. Based in Hackney, it promotes positive mental health and wellbeing through creative learning. Providing quality education, training, employment and social enterprise initiatives that enable people who experience mental health issues to overcome barriers, fulfill their potential and participate fully in their community. More at corearts.co.uk

Femme in London - Alok Vaid-Menon and Friends take the stage at Grow in Hackney Wick

On Sunday 26 February, we were thrilled to be joined by nonbinary transfeminine writer, entertainer, and performance artist, Alok Vaid-Menon for a night of poetry, comedy, and performance. On stage, we also welcomed Travis Alabanza & DJ Dae.

The audience were treated to powerful performances asking questions such as: What feminine part of yourself did you have to destroy in order to survive in this world? At what point does femininity become synonymous with apology? Who hurt the people who hurt you? The whole event which left the audience touched, energised and inspired on a Sunday evening in February...

About Alok Vaid Menon
Alok Vaid-Menon is a nonbinary transfeminine writer, entertainer, and performance artist. Alok has been invited to perform, speak, and facilitate at universities, conferences, and organizations across the world; their work has been featured in various outlets like HBO, MTV, The Guardian, Buzzfeed, The New York Times, The New Yorker, TEDx and more.

About Travis Alabanza
Travis Alabanza is a London based, Black, transfemme performance artist and writer. Their work combines live poetry, soundscapes, projection and theatrics to create work around their survival. Their 2015/16 show Stories of a Queer Brown Muddy Kid toured across the UK, selling out venues including the RVT & Housman's Bookstore. As well as being one of the 2016/17 Artist in Residences at the Tate, in the last year their work has been featured in Artsy, Manon, Wildabout - as well as performing in venues both locally and internationally. Alabanza is keen to create and discuss ways in which art can be used with queer youth, and their new show BURGERZ will be showing at Hackney Showroom in March.

About Dj Dae
Dj Dae is a Queer gender bending Pisces hailing from South East London by way of Nigeria and Cameroon. Blending all your favourite tracks with your soon to be favourite Afrobeat tracks until your bed calls your name louder than the music- When in doubt, look for them on the dancefloor

Alok Vaid-Menon

Fear of Fluffing start their 2017 residency at Grow with electronic meanderings

If you haven't experienced the Fear of Fluffing before, you must.  Every situation is unique but equally hypnotic.  With many guises, whether their on stage, on the road, canal side; they inhabit their surrounding and invite you to join the ride.

On Thursday 23 Feb, for the first event of their 2017 residency ay Grow, Reuben Sutherland and The Fear of Fluffling set up for some electrical meanderings, projections, performance and DJ set and it was a delight for the ears, eyes and mind...

With thanks to Timothy Brannan for the photography.

Launching our new partnership with neighbours, the 'Hackney Wick Boulder Project'

We're so excited about our new partnership with the Hackney Wick Boulder Project (HWBP), that we offer their members 10% off ALL food and drink, anytime they come to Grow. It's their official launch party tonight, so join them from at the wall from 6pm for fun at the climbing wall and then from 9pm come to Grow for drinks and dancing to old school rap, reggae, 80s, funk, house and everything in between as legendary DJ, Dominic Benjamin takes the decks….. Come thru and get in the groove!

On another night, why not double up... go climbing then come to our weekly live jazz jam on a Wednesday (7.30PM) or SoulFull Sunday Roast on Sunday (12-6PM) or anything in between. Remember 10% off all food and drink!! Sign up to our mailing list for updates.

About HWBP

This new bouldering wall is 1 min from Hackney Wick Overground. They love climbing, and climbing walls. Most of their adventures start with a chat "down the wall", and end in some wild and rocky place. Other passions are good music, good coffee and good cake! Theymay not be the biggest climbing wall. But they think you will agree that we punch above our weight! Find opening times, pricing and events on the HWPB website.

 

Art and music to support the Minesweeper Collective they lost their home to fire...

On 5 January 2017, the home of the Minesweeper Collective, a boat based in Deptford, sadly burned down. Thankfully no one was hurt but artists' work and studios were destroyed overnight.

Many of the Minesweeper Collective's artists have also performed at Grow over the past few years including artist and Butoh dancer, Mai Nguyen Tri, who organised this fundraiser to help support them. They are an amazingly creative bunch who now need to rebuild their project so thanks to everyone who came down to this event to show solidarity and support them. You can still donate online.

Performances included: Mai & Ampers&nd, The Dublo, Grassy Noel & Ape and on the decks was DJ Calculator.

Feed your belly and nourish your soul with Sunday Roast at our new SoulFull Sundays at Grow, Hackney Wick!

You've been asking us for ages for a Sunday Roast at Grow and we're a partial too, so here it is:  the new Slow Fire London Sunday Roast to feed your belly and funk, soul and jazz to nourish your soul.

This Slow Fire London Sunday roast is not to be missed. All of the meat is free range and chef duo, Pete and Les, work closely with carefully selected local suppliers to source the best ingredients.  As well as the best quality meat, lovingly smoked on our canal side smoker, you can also enjoy a delicious vegan nut roast - comprising of locally grown seasonal vegetables, whole nuts, seeds, pulses and herbs from the Grow garden.   Accompanied by lots of seasonal vegetables, roast potatoes,  a Yorkshire pud and lashings of gravy!  Naughty pudding options to finish off too, if you fancy? See the full menu here.

Lunch is served from midday to 6pm, every Sunday...

A series of free informal talks about art, politics, permaculture...

In November and December 2016, together with Marie Brenneis we hosted an informal talk and discussion about Aesthetics, Politics, Economics, Globalisation, Capitalism and the Environment. These talks were free, open to all and existed to share information and experiences.  Some of the talks were also recorded and broadcasted by Wick Radio

8 Nov // Neoliberalism
One of Grow's co-founders Reuben Jacobs talked about 'Neoliberalism' so we all can gain a better understanding of how it affects global and local politics as well as your everyday life, through its domination of world economics.
LISTEN TO REUBEN'S TALK ON WICK RADIO

15 Nov // West to East London - historical geography
Jacob F-n, shared his experience and research as a historical geographer. He took us on a journey from West to East London as we learned how London's colonial past is still woven into the geography all around us today and the importance of looking into, and learning from, the past...
LISTEN TO JACOB'S TALK ON WICK RADIO

22 Nov // Bucky Fuller & the 60's Modernist movement
Stuart Glenday shared the story of American anti-establishment visionary and inventor of the geodesic dome, Richard Buckminster Fuller (AKA Bucky).  Also, Stuart's hand-made geodesic installations are hanging from Grow's ceiling so come anytime to enjoy their hypnotic qualities.
LISTEN TO STUART'S TALK ON WICK RADIO

29 Nov // Art & Censorship
Julia Farrington from Index on Censorship shared her experience of researching how law can and should play in supporting the arts (read more about her work, Art and the Law). We also discussed how censorship affects us all. This organisation is really important as it campaigns for, and defends, free expression worldwide.

6 Dec // Permaculture and the role of art
Hannah Gardiner shared her experience and knowledge of permaculture, sustainable living and the role of art within these areas. As Hannah said, it is generative subject... and we all pondered the questions raised and learned a lot from Hannah's research, all whilst her cartoonist friend illustrating the discusson as we went!

Mai @ Grow with music, art and performance

Another magical day of art, music and performance organised by friend and long-term supporter of Grow, the artist and dancer Mai Nguyen Tri. Click below to see photos and short films of this amazing event and we say a huge thanks to Mai for all she does to celebrate creativty and positivity with us and across Hackney Wick and thanks again also to all who participated.