‘Wanna see my new drawings dad?’ ..My daughter draws the cranes drawing ever closer to us in Hackney Wick. She like many kids are sensitive to what’s going on, we tend to shield them or assume that, in the uninterrupted play space; growing space, we provide for them, that they don’t notice the change in the world around them; the effect it has on us as adults. I draw cranes all the time. Here in Hackney where they bring £500,000 starter flats that break up a community, take away our warehouse studios and homes; in Gdansk where they stand as a monument to industry passing and resistance to totalitarianism. I get what you’re saying, daughter. I see the rigidity of their outer structure in your drawing, enclosing, fencing; the carefree lines within, approximating what really holds commerce, building, gentrifying, all of this metallic, robotic, venturism, together: networks, lattice, fluid, organic, connections; people; lives. Thank you for understanding how I feel about our displacement, and for representing it as we do, as you are learning to do: as an artist. Not always in words and numbers, but in black and white and grey- lines. A catapult at your cranes, #eastlondon🤘🏼👊🏼#art #artist #cranes #hackneywick #drawing #daughter #hackneygirl #hackney #pencil #fuckoffwithyourfuckingcranes #gentrifiication #davidandgoliath
I’m English, offspring of generations of blond haired ginger eyebrowed black bearded slanty lidded hooked nosed blue green brown eyed frizzy straight curly headed wiry olive skinned freckly brown pale faced immigrants, and proud of it.
We English have not been as great as we were taught we were at many things, contemporary history rightly tells us, and hence we are cautious to brag. But here’s one thing we’re undebatably good at, one thing that isn’t an empty brag. We love getting behind something, however trivial or important, small or big, useful or useless, decent or shite, and stupidly fighting to the death for it.
So on this polling day, bear this: whoever you are, who you think you are, know you are, where you think, know, you’re from, or care or not who or from whence or where- when you cast your ballot, be English. Whatever you vote for, believe in it, and scrap for it. Don’t choose the easy non participatory option that serves your short term needs. Believe in your cause, your conscience, your ideology; or make it your cause, your conscience, make it your ideology, however opposite or the same it is to mine: get behind your line and fight for it. Draw it in the dirt and stand your ground. Stick your flag in and defend it.
Cos we’re English and we love a scrap. We fucking love a fucking ruck. We love a bit of argy bargy: On June 8th: this country, be English, just for a day. Don’t go for an option. Convince me I’m wrong. Vanquish my beliefs. Wipe them out. Or lose. Fucking fight to the death. Fucking fight your corner. Or lose. All spoils to the victor. All contracts to the winners. All industry to those with the tighter grip. All future to your children. Let’s fucking have it, you English cunts. #ukelection2017 #labour #corbyn
You say you are an advocate between artists, and corporations who are supporting sustainability? There’s no sustainability in the equation. No affordable/rentable housing being built. Artists are used as pioneers to cool up an area for billion £ developments. I’ve lived this since Cable Street in 91, Deptford 92, Shoreditch 93 (there were about 15 of us in the whole desolate area), Leytonstone 94/5, Stoke Newington/Dalston 96-2000’s, Lower Clapton 2010 (the ‘murder mile’- my daughter was born there, her mother too, 24 years earlier, her first-generation Caribbean immigrant, science teaching, NF battling, area pioneer, Grandfather, moved there in the 1980’s) ..and now here; in our pushed to the edge of east London community. We live in fungus and rodent infested flats and industrial units. Freezing/boiling/damp, cramped canal boats. We don’t complain, just want to be left alone. We’re told off record, pregnant, by the council to ‘play the system’ to get housing. We are abandoned by the ‘system’, so we live blithely outside it. My friend: these people are millionaire capitalists, taking bribes, and handing backshish to councils. Offshore investors. Foreign governments. Oil gangsters laundering cash, green blinging demographic box ticking shitesters. It’s all lies, and you, and I know it. So don’t pretend to me. Don’t think I’ll ever agree with you. It’s a dirty world behind the smiles at our homemade lampshades and tables, street art, funky bars, skip-ratted furnishings, jam sessions and sketches. Our community will get zilch, nixt, nada, fuck all; from any of them, unless you count a load of faked up retail barns with expropriated signage and 500 grand ‘affordable’ flats. Artists don’t live in art centres or we’d all have apartments in the Barbican. I wish you the best- good luck. #life #world #politics #corporate #bullshit #hackney #hackneywick #climbing #music #art #writing #affordablehousingnow #artists #djs
What is this utopia of unsocial housing rising out of east London. Looking like it was designed by Marcello Piacentini let loose on Minecraft, with names like Victory Square, Celebration Row, The Manhattan Loft Company, what are we celebrating? And when did a loft become a penthouse?
Which one? Well – and sorry if you got alerts turned on and this makes that pinging noise- seeing as it is 4am and it’s raining and that’s a very beautiful song about a raincoat you love.. It’s hard to say.. I have the album in the picture, I’ve just closed the bar, after a long and musical night, many of the tunes LC would have heard in his youth.. Alone, and of course he is the poet of loneliness, as a poet said; not *was, cos words live on, like his ancient name.. OK: Jeff Buckley of course; turning an 80’s overpolished semi precious into a hymn.. Sorry to be corny. Maybe my daughter’s voice echoing it against the empty warehouses of hackney wick, then the tuned RFH in a school choir, my heart leaping cos she sings it with the same commitment that she sang Let it Go, from Frozen a year and a half ago.. But now asks me what the lyrics mean.. And her 8 yrs of freshness blows away the stale breath of a billion buskers… …Which one? The one I first heard, years ago in an 80’s comeback. Dark n stormy – that’s my drink- you take Berlin, I’ll take New York. Damn. They just did. Or any of those songs on that record from 67. A dumndit tweets he was American and uses him as an example to Trumpet triumph. A straw headed hotelier vs the poet of loneliness, announced by a bigots Hikup . No contest. Poets don’t fight elections, they write lyrics. [Apart from Waslev Havel, but to be fair I think he fought for the Czeck Republic presidency before any election] -no, it’s 4 am, and I’m not gonna try and spell his name. …Bowie going made me sad- too soon- what a brilliant finale tho, but 82 is a good enough age.. I just feel proud to have got his music and words, so then I was compelled to listen to that I love you NY song by Ryan Adams, a guilty pleasure reserved for celebrating..Then the first 4 tracks of Nite Flights, Scott Walker’s funk & funereal finale with his brothers. Genius is through interpretation sometimes, Jeff Buckley gave that song a voice.. All good things are half way between a curse and a prayer. That line Johnny Cash walked. I’ve worn a few pairs of converse out too, conversely trying to tread between their steps. One day maybe I’ll write as good as lovely old mr Cohen. .. It’s 4am and..I’m not sure. Well you did ask: there’s no simple reply .. Sometimes. Bed now. Here’s to Himn. Thanks for the genius and humanity Mr C. Nite nite. #leonardcohen #hackneywick #4am