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Gavin Turk launches Hackney Wicked festival in his new studio - after development forces him out of his old one

PUBLISHED: 15:40 27 July 2017 | UPDATED: 15:53 27 July 2017

Gavin Turk, pictured at an art fair in south London, is moving out of his Wick Lane studio because it's being turned into flats. Picture: David Parry/PA Wire

Gavin Turk, pictured at an art fair in south London, is moving out of his Wick Lane studio because it's being turned into flats. Picture: David Parry/PA Wire

PA Wire/PA Images

Celebrity artist Gavin Turk will launch the ninth Hackney Wicked festival this weekend in his new studio – after he was forced out of the old one in Hackney Wick to make way for flats.

Gavin Turk with Anna Maloney, the director of the Hackney Wicked festival. Picture: Gavin TurkGavin Turk with Anna Maloney, the director of the Hackney Wicked festival. Picture: Gavin Turk

Gavin, a graduate of the Young British Artists movement of the ’90s along with Tracey Emin and Damien Hurst, is moving out of the Wick Lane studio he has occupied for 16 years because homes are going to be built there.

He will instead showcase work by 60 of the area’s talents in the “Inside Out” exhibition at his temporary new studio – at the former Olympic Park press centre Here East.

He has co-curated Inside Out with Hackney Wicked’s director Anna Maloney.

Gavin, the festival’s patron, told the Gazette it was “true to a point” that he has been “priced out” of the area.

Gavin TurkGavin Turk

“I don’t want to victimise artists,” he said, “and the idea of people being priced out all becomes incredibly emotive.

“But it seems the problem is less about being priced out and more a value being placed on the idea of money itself, rather than the values of ideas and social interaction.”

The artist, who lives near Victoria Park, added: “One of the ways the market has advertised the area is as a vibrant cultural community which obviously gets lost in the process of developing it – it’s full of irony.”

But he concedes it would be “churlish” to say the old warehouses didn’t need redeveloping. “I just think the development could have and should have incorporated the artists in that process,” he said.

Gavin Turk, in the red beret, as his ‘L’Âge d’Or’ is installed by the Olympic ParkGavin Turk, in the red beret, as his ‘L’Âge d’Or’ is installed by the Olympic Park

Hackney Wicked will see more than 20 artists’ studios open to the public this weekend.

One of Gavin’s contributions to the Olympic Park is a big green door, cheekily named L’Age D’Or (which is French for “the age of gold” but pronounced “large door”).

It was installed at Here East last year.

See hackneywicked.co.uk to find out more about this weekend’s festival.


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