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.