Artist Open Letter

Dear friends and supporters of the arts,

As you know, artists play an integral role in positively shaping communities, making a city a destination for culture. Without artists, Cities die. We have hoping the power of our pen and voice of reason will draw international attention get behind our cause which we are all aware is such an international issue. the current threat to Hackney Wick [full story here] once home to the largest concentration of artists in Europe, attracting established residents over a decade including Banksy, The Chapman Brothers, Conrad Shawcross, Pam Hogg, Cedric Christie and Gavin Turk.

URGENT ACTION

Hackney Wick is a house of cards waiting to fall, yet we have hope in the strength roused by this collaboration and know by standing our ground with your support, we can succeed. The time for resistance against the bulldozers due to line the streets is now.

Please click HERE for simple deatils of how a quick email can make an impact for Vittoria Wharf’s immediate future directed to: Sajid.javid@communities.gsi.gov.uk

Save Hackney Wick will continue to campaign for outright Community Management of the building as supported by ALL 4 major parties; Labour, Green Party, Lib Dem’s, Conservative’s, Tower Hamelts Council our private investors and of course you!!!

intimidating tenants and attempting to switch off their water supply, the community have stood united working to the wire to challenge proceedings.

OUR STORY

VITTORIA WHARF

The building is one of Hackney Wick’s most important centers of creativity, listed as an Asset of Community Value (ACV) alongside venue Stour Space. For over a decade it has provided affordable studio space and has become a platform for creative’s to establish themselves in London. Past and present tenant’s include a mixture of over 100 art practitioners from BAFTA andOscar winning actors and musicians, collectives, emerging fine artists due to exhibit at Saatchi Gallery to the UK’s leading Ice Sculptor and a social enterprise working with the NHS Trust to found London’s first Mental Health ‘Outsider Gallery’.

The once derelict now thriving Victorian Warehouse has even inspired architect Turner Prize winners Assemble’s Yardhouse project, commissioned by LLDC themselves . An important point to note, is the building has also received recommendation for conservation listing by revered archaeologist Malcolm Tucker. All of this evidance of the building’s asset to the community, it is clear the concept of value is being misinterpreted by the developers, one of fast financial gain at odds with nurturing existing culture creation, which enriches the community.

The Artist community who have innovitivley transformed what was once an industrial wasteland, face imminent extinction starting with the eviction of Vittoria Wharf studio’s, due to be replaced by a footbridge, despite not yet receiving full planning permission. In the 4 weeks since receiving eviction letters, we self-organised and launched a campaign creating a unified strategy in what has become a Artist’s vs Olympics / David and Goliath battle, against the destructive and illegitimate plans of the developers LLDC (LondonLegacy Development Corperation).

Our creative resistance has been blessed by huge local support, the petition reaching 5k signators, plus Press and TV coverage generated by our heartfelt message of “communities over corporations”!

After being misled in multiple negotiations in open meetings held with the LLDC, we have been met with false promises and tactical delays which is wholly disgraceful practice from an un-elected body who’s apparent purpose is creating opportunities for local people and driving innovation and growth”, yet in reality are destroying a community and creative enterprises. We aim to amplify the LLDC’s lack of integrity in creating a London Olympic Legacy.

COMMUNITY MODEL

Our proposal rejected by the LLDC Chairman conveyed evidence that collectively we have the investors, integrity and imagination to create a non-profit organisation that will develop Vittoria Wharf into live/work studios that offer a solution to housing, multi use work-shops and performance spaces, saving millions in due to be spent public money, which overall could become a progressive blueprint for studio’s internationally.

WE ARE THE BRIDGE…

This is an urgent situation for tenants of Vittoria Wharf who have been given a shockingly limited time to uproot their livelihoods with no affordable solution to relocate.

So, we call on the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan at this crucial time, to recognise the travesty in not preserving Hackney Wick’s industrial and creative soul; a microcosm within a cosmopolitan City, fostered by isolated canal-side warehouse enclaves, irreplaceable by the Olympicopolis plan.

to take act on the need to create policies to provide creators legitimate long term spaces, protected from corporations who readily exploit the positive contribution they offer gentrification cycle, or as a consequence, will sacrifice authenticity and affordability of the City, forcing Artist’s to join the mass exodus to Capitals more embracing of the Arts such as Berlin, Amsterdam and Vienna, who’s social conditions make a balanced breeding ground for a bohemian lifestyle and flourishing art scenes, while in London, in 2016 Artist’s still struggle to survive.

In short, if the Mayors ‘London Is Open’ to account campaign to encourage culture for generations to come holds any weight, we expect Sadiq Khan to act now and #savevittoriawharf #savehackneywick

to stand shoulder to shoulder facing similar struggles and share ideas for sustainable successes considering how much the arts contribute to a flourishing society and lest we not forget the economy.Together we hope to be a catalyst in changing the narrative of Artist displacement or in the regeneration process,

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” ― R. Buckminster Fuller

WE ARE THE BRIDGE!

SUPPORT

Thank you for reading our story, here are further quick ways we you can support…

Signing our petition: goo.gl/YtCFTU

Please share this Open Letter & we welcome your/organisation’s quote of support to press@savehackneywick.org

We strongly welcome advice at this crucial time: info@savehackneywick.org

Peace + power to you,

SaveHackneyWick.org