The popular Street Artist Stik has created a new fund for Hackney that will commission artists to create public sculptures reflecting the diverse communities of the borough. Stik has also promised to give every household in Hackney a limited edition poster of the sculpture design when they are returned by thieves who stole thousands of the giveaway over the weekend.
This project is intended to facilitate a new-wave of public sculpture in East London – Stik
An original working maquette of ‘Holding Hands’ a permanent four-metre bronze which was recently installed by Hackney Council in Hoxton Square has raised £287,500 at Christie’s. Self-funded and Gifted to Hackney Council for the auction by STIK, the money raised will create a new wave of outdoor public sculpture and installation art across the borough for the enjoyment of all.
The programme aims to respond to evolving attitudes towards monuments and will also offer a lifeline to the arts community during a difficult time for the sector.
‘Holding Hands’ depicts two figures facing in opposite directions yet holding hands in a sign of universal love and solidarity. Traditionally cast in patinated bronze, the sculpture recently unveiled in Hoxton Square is roughly twice human height, the hands low enough for the viewer to reach, with legs forming a doorway for the viewer to pass through. The unique quarter-sized bronze maquette of ‘Holding Hands’ significantly exceeded its estimate of £80,000 – £120,000 and is a new auction record for the artist.
The new fund at Hackney Council, will be open to all artists regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability, age or other status. The programme aims to respond to evolving attitudes towards public monuments. It will also offer a lifeline to the arts community during a difficult time for the sector where museums and galleries face closure and artists are being asked to retrain.
STIK says: ‘This project is intended to facilitate a new-wave of public sculpture in East London, celebrating the diverse communities who live here.’
Mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville, said: ‘I’d like to thank STIK for his record of activism, vision for collaborating with the borough and this generous donation. We’re proud in Hackney to be able to support and share the creativity of our residents. This represents a longstanding commitment to inclusive public art that can be enjoyed by everyone in our parks and public spaces and I can’t wait to see the creativity that STIK, through the sale of this work, will help us showcase and unlock.’
STIK has become known globally for his large-scale, monumental public artworks that can be found in the streets of New York and Tokyo. His book is published by Penguin and his work is in important private and public collections. He has lived and worked in London for 20 years, creating public art across the city including numerous murals in his local neighborhood of Hackney, many as a way to give voice to the various communities in the borough. STIK co-founded the Dulwich Outdoor Gallery, set up MyMural, an organisation that lets Council residents curate the art on their estates, and raised core funding for the art therapy room at Hackney NHS Hospital. He also has a history of supporting good causes and to date has raised over £750,000 for charities and initiatives.