The scene in front of WW Gallery on Monday evening: as riot police move brick-wielding boys away from houses, mounted police force others across the park.
On Monday afternoon, moments after the artist completed work on WW Gallery’s newly commissioned sculpture Mudman, looters that can only use the word ‘rioters’ advisedly – spilled into Queensdown Rd and Hackney Downs and were seen off by riot & mounted police.
Although WW Gallery is currently closed for summer, the new initiative Patio Projects is open 24/7 and plays host this August and September to new work by Eva Lis.
While bins and cars burned bright on neighbouring Clarence Road, youths filtered down our street, searching bins and gardens for missiles. Two boys entered Patio Projects to pick up loose concrete and bricks, and threatened to smash in our window when they saw our camera, however they pretty much ignored Mudman himself.
WW’s Debra Wilson said yesterday: “Mudman is the personification of the British resolve to damn well have a summer and be outdoors, even if the reality involves frequent rain torrents, sturdy umbrellas…and flying bricks”
Chiara Williams, on Facebook and Twitter, added: “Snowmen often symbolise innocence, but, in the context of the Hackney riots which broke out on the day of completion, the Mudman may also be read as referencing social and racial tensions and loss of innocence, as in Harper Lee’s 1960 ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’, when Jem & Scout build a muddy snowman in front of a neighbour’s house, which later burns down.”
Mudman, is a provisional work which will stand until 30th September, or until it disintegrates, at 30 Queensdown Rd, E5 8NN.
WW is currently fundraising in order to develop its Projects programme and properly support participating artists. If you would like to donate or find out more, please click here.
WW Gallery is pleased to present House Guests, a new installation by Liane Lang, 6th – 22nd October 2011.
This new work takes its queue from the preserved or recreated living or working spaces of famous figures, designed to allow the viewer to enter temporarily into the past – a museum to the individual life. The projected film is an animation made in Rudyard Kipling’s Vermont house, the site of many traumatic events for his family but also where he wrote many of his best-loved books. The haunting atmosphere of the film gently spills over into the exhibition space, where strange objects, piles of books, pieces of furniture and photographs extend the narrative.
The film animation was made at Naulakha, the house of Rudyard Kipling in Vermont, an isolated building in the Connecticut River Valley. Kipling built this house to his own designs and lived here with his wife and daughters. The space we see is haunted, occupied by inhabitants that appear and vanish, furniture that moves of its own accord and disembodied voices that play in the overgrown swimming pool. In the exhibition space, found objects are arranged like haunted souls along the walls, hinting at the dark side of Kipling’s times and thoughts, the confusion and conflict of colonialism, travel and friendship as well as racism and arrogance, a boy’s adventure tale and the horrors of war.