Hackney Wick artist evicted from underneath A12 flyover

PUBLISHED: 09:14 01 November 2018 | UPDATED: 09:26 01 November 2018

Workers dismantling the workshop. Picture: Monika Kuszewska

Workers dismantling the workshop. Picture: Monika Kuszewska


An artist, who had setup an open-air gallery and workshop under the A12 overpass in Hackney Wick was finally evicted yesterday after a long-running standoff with the authorities.

An example of the art under the bridge. Picture: Cathryn Miles GriffithsAn example of the art under the bridge. Picture: Cathryn Miles Griffiths

Jay Filipowicz, a sculptor and painter, had been using the space for more than two years.

The workshop, positioned where the A12 passes over the River Lea Navigation, was used by four other local artists. Boat owners also use the space to paint their boats as the road provides shelter from the elements.

Responsibility for the area Jay used is split between three authorities. Canal and River Trust (CRT) are responsible for the canal and towpath, Transport for London (TfL) for the flyover and the space directly underneath it, and Hackney Council for the grass verges.

CRT has suspended mooring along this stretch of canal to allow access of a rubbish barge, to help clear the space.

Cathryn, who lives in nearby Fish Island, told the Gazette: “Before it was covered in rubbish and needles. People used to avoid it if they could. Jay has made it a safe space for everyone.”

Jay works with materials that he finds dumped in the canals, Wick Woodland or streets of Hackney Wick.

He told the Gazette: “None of the authorities were taking responsibility for it. It was filthy, full of bottles.

“It’s now a public space. A very public space. Anyone can come here to shelter, to relax. People respect what I’m doing. I haven’t had one person complaining to me. They realise what we’re doing with this space, we’re making something of it.”

A Hackney Council spokesperson said: “As a result of complaints from local people, we are working with TfL and the Canal and River Trust to make sure the area beneath the A12 flyover is safe for everyone to use.

“Our enforcement team have discussed these issues with those using the space underneath the A12 and explained why they are dangerous, however this has not resulted in any change. As such, we will be working today with TfL and the Canal and River Trust to make the area safe.

“While we have a duty to work with other agencies to make the space under the A12 is used in a way that is safe for other towpath users, we would be happy to meet those who use the area underneath the flyover to discuss how we can assist in finding them other suitable space in the area. ”

Latest Hackney Stories

Yesterday, 18:11

London Lions maintained their lead at the top of the BBL Championship with victory on the road against Worcester Wolves.

Yesterday, 16:56

Leyton Orient came from behind to beat Bromley and extend their unbeaten run in the National League to six matches, while also returning to the top of the table.

Yesterday, 09:00

Justin Edinburgh will make at least one change to the team which won 3-1 at AFC Fylde last time out

An 80-year-old grandmother was called a “f***ing bitch” in a “foul outburst” by her alleged murderer months before she was strangled with a lawnmower cord in a Colindale allotment shed, the Old Bailey heard today.

Fri, 15:00

A new book called Orient in the 70s has been released and will be available to Leyton Orient fans in the Supporters Club ahead of the match against Bromley this weekend.

Fri, 09:34

Detectives investigating the murder of Elyon Poku at an 18th birthday party in Stamford Hill have made two further arrests, ahead of his funeral today.

Fri, 08:00

London All-Stars and London Titans are gearing up for an epic weekend of wheelchair basketball, as the Lord’s Taverners Junior Leagues returns for the 2018/19 season.

Fri, 06:00

Leyton Orient will play Bromley in the National League this weekend wearing their special commemorative kit


Former teacher Steve shares his experiences as a foster carer for teenagers, from dealing with some of their more challenging behaviour, to the rewards of seeing a child develop into a happy and healthy adult

If you are an unpaid carer in Hackney over the age of 25, who would like to get back into work, then Working for Carers can provide the practical assistance and support you need.

Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Hackney Gazette twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists