BECK ROAD PROJECT

by Georgina Rowlands
Tags: BECK ROAD, DISCUSSION, WALK

GROUP WALK TO BECK ROAD

'As we say goodbye as a cohort to our shared studio space in archway, we are entering a scarier time. We are moving to an altogether less open and flexible environment in kings cross. Studio attendance historically drops dramatically. The space we have to play with is reduced and more tightly controlled.

Beck Road is a row of terraced houses in Hackney that was slated for demolition in the 1970s. It was squatted by artists who used the road as a series of live/work spaces, and many of them were ultimately able to buy their houses from the council with the help of Acme charity and housing association (which still exists to an extent, and runs the CSM graduate associate studio programme). Residents included Helen Chadwick, Mikey Cuddihy, Genesis P-Orridge and Maureen Paley whose first gallery was opened there in 1984.

I propose we walk together from Elthorne Road to Beck Road, from 11am on Wednesday 1st of June, making a journey from the shared studio space that we have been using so far, to a hypothetical and hopeful future of being able to cheaply live/work together, in a community.

En route we can discuss the following questions:
How can we maintain and improve the studio culture we have developed this year?
What has worked and what hasn’t worked? 
What kind of studio do we want?
And how might we continue live and work as artists in the future, inside or outside London’s unforgiving environment?

It’s expected to take about an hour and a half, so not too strenuous. We can have a lunch picnic in London Fields after if we like.

I hope everyone can make it. Of course this is borne of discussions we have been having in 3D stage 1 at CSM, but the concerns are relevant to pretty much anyone trying to be creative in london, so please invite anyone who might be interested, or has insight into the questions we are tackling. 
Or, of course, anyone who has any insight into the history of beck road. Lots for everyone to learn.

(Event photo is 'Artists and their families living on Beck Road, E8' by Edward Woodman, 1989)
(It is currently not expected to rain. Event time may change in response to weather forecasts)'

BECK ROAD/STORAGE SPACE

FOOTAGE BY ME

EDITED BY RUBEN GREEN

Details

GROUP WALK

INITIATED IN THE STUDIO: A GROUP DISCUSSION CONCERNING THE FUTUTRE OF ARTIST COMMUNITIES BECAME INCREASINGLY IMPORTANT.

  • How can we maintain and improve the studio culture we have developed this year?
  • What has worked and what hasn’t worked? 
  • What kind of studio do we want?
  • And how might we continue live and work as artists in the future, inside or outside London’s unforgiving environment?

THE JOURNEY IS 1 HR 30 MINS.

BEGINNING IN THE ARCHWAY STUDIOS AND ACROSS TO BECK ROAD IN HACKNEY WE WILL DISCUSS THE POLITICS OF SPACE IN MODERN LONDON 

 

 

Details

As we say goodbye as a cohort to our shared studio space in archway, we are entering a scarier time. We are moving to an altogether less open and flexible environment in kings cross. Studio attendance historically drops dramatically. The space we have to play with is reduced and more tightly controlled.

Beck Road is a row of terraced houses in Hackney that was slated for demolition in the 1970s. It was squatted by artists who used the road as a series of live/work spaces, and many of them were ultimately able to buy their houses from the council with the help of Acme charity and housing association (which still exists to an extent, and runs the CSM graduate associate studio programme). Residents included Helen Chadwick, Mikey Cuddihy, Genesis P-Orridge and Maureen Paley whose first gallery was opened there in 1984.

I propose we walk together from Elthorne Road to Beck Road, from 11am on Wednesday 1st of June, making a journey from the shared studio space that we have been using so far, to a hypothetical and hopeful future of being able to cheaply live/work together, in a community.

En route we can discuss the following questions:
How can we maintain and improve the studio culture we have developed this year?
What has worked and what hasn’t worked? 
What kind of studio do we want?
And how might we continue live and work as artists in the future, inside or outside London’s unforgiving environment?

It’s expected to take about an hour and a half, so not too strenuous. We can have a lunch picnic in London Fields after if we like.

Details

BECK ROAD GROUP WALL

On the window facing Waitrose in the Kings Cross studio as part of my 'Discussion Installation', myself, Ruben Green and Josh Collings created the Beck Road wall, all correspondence and collections of images, findings and information were added to the wall.

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ARTISTS AND THEIR FAMILIES IN BECK ROAD

PHOTOS FROM DISCUSSION AND WALK

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[discussion in my installation before walk]

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[graffiti on Holloway road that reads: 'FULLY AUTOMATED LUXURY COMMUNISM NOW']

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[walking down Holloway Road]

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[walking towards Hackney, discussion about gentrification of Canals, the politics of space in London was the dominant topic throughout the entirety of the walk]

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[reaching Beck Road, terraced brick houses reminded me of Toxteth in Liverpool and the River Streets in Birkenhead North]

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[community noticeboard in Beck Road, email addresses on notice board, Josh Collings has emailed a few community members to learn of the history of the road and also the relationship between Acne Studios and the Beck Road residents, he received a few emailed where a man discusses living in a squat previously in East London, further communications are necessary] 

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[after the walk we went to a small cafe recommended on the Community Board, we discussed the relationships between artists in London and just how possible it even is for creatives to live in London with the increasing austerity, we discussed my involvement in the Northern art scene, and I mentioned how in my hometown The Wirral, the town next to Liverpool there is absolutely no art communities as we have no galleries and even the prospect of surviving as an artist is impossible due to the deprived economic state and also the large majority of working class culture which is separated from the more middle class Modern Art appreciation. I spoke about how the neighboring city Liverpool, to which I commute to daily for work and spend the majority of my time in has a focus on art culture with the Tate Liverpool on the Albert Dock. which looks across the river mersey towards The Wirral. And with smaller collectives such as the Royal Standard studios and gallery and the Bridewell a studio and gallery i was involved in heavily during my last year in Merseyside, Bridewell is a small space, a previous polce prison, the artists work in small cell rooms, and exhibit in the former officers Office.]

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