A group of local artists are holding their last open studios and exhibition from their Stoke Newington studios this month.
After 20 years in the building, Andy D’Cruz, Jonathan Hogg, Ali Holloway, Sal Jones, Ann-Marie LeQuesne, Cristina Ottonello, Richard Paton and Ufuk Uyanik will lose their studio space when work to refurbish the library gets underway.
This week they were granted an extra six months in the studios– meaning they expect to be evicted in May 2024.
Andy, co-founder of Output Arts, said: “With an uncertain future ahead, we are marking this moment with a celebration of the creativity and energy of our artistic community by showcasing the work of the eight artists with studios above the library.
“It’s a great opportunity to meet us all, see a selection of artists’ work, create something and see this atmospheric old building before refurbishment.”
The Last Picture Show takes place from Saturday September 16 till Wednesday September 20th at the Library Gallery in Edwards Lane. On the 16th there’ll be a Studio Open Day with free weaving and willow star-making workshops.
The upcoming £4.4million refurbishment of the library will see repairs to the interior and exterior of this Grade 2 Listed building. It’s hoped that work will be completed by 2025. Hackney Council say they’ll let the artists know immediately if any suitable council-owned spaces become available.
A spokesperson for the Council added: “Stoke Newington Library desperately needs refurbishment and the plans will see significant improvements for the thousands of local residents who use it. We value what both Stokey Studios and Space Studios bring to the borough, but that doesn’t mean we can delay this vital work.”
The artists say they have no intention of delaying the library works. They say they have located a suitable underused local space owned by Hackney Council but have been told that it is used for storage and may be pressed back into service sometime in the future.
Andy added: “It seems this has been the case for about 30 years. The building we are interested in is in a sorry state, currently un-rentable and in need of work. We are proposing to renovate, create a functioning studio space, as well as paying rent for its use. This would enable us to continue our work in the community, return a building to a more usable state, as well as generate an income for Hackney for what currently is dead space. “
Exhibition opening times: Saturday 16th: 10.30am-5pm, Sunday 17th: 1.30pm till 5.30pm, September 18th-20th 10.30am till 5pm.