New Exhibition celebrates Hackney scenes

The Steam Room dry cleaners is displaying illustrations by local artist Jane Smith.   

The Steam Room dry cleaners is displaying illustrations by local artist Jane Smith. - Credit: Xindi Wei

An exhibition has opened at Kingsland Road dry cleaners, the Steam Room, showcasing illustrations by local artist Jane Smith.  

Launched on April 12, it features a selection of prints, inspired by “much-loved” scenes near Jane’s home in Dalston, representing local architecture, street scenes and cityscapes. 

They are all either drawn on location or from Jane’s own photographs, then scanned and coloured digitally.  

She says: “There is always something inspiring to draw in Dalston and its surroundings; the place that I call home.”  

Many of Jane Smiths illustrations are inspired by her Dalston home. 

Many of Jane Smiths illustrations are inspired by her Dalston home. - Credit: Xindi Wei

Based between her home in Dalston and studio desk share in Brick Lane, Jane has given east London plenty of chances to seep into her bloodstream.  


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“This part of London is the ideal place for me. There’s plenty in Dalston to keep me inspired for years,” said Jane.  

“Markets are always great fun to draw, with an endless supply of detail and plenty of life going on."

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Some of her illustrations include The Royal Oak and the Columbia Road Flower Market.   

Jane’s work also includes prints, sketches and watercolours of London, where she has worked as an artist and illustrator for around 35 years, 24 of which were spent in Dalston, Clerkenwell and Bethnal Green. 

She loves linocut and wood carving, as well as line drawing and her work has covered many other subjects with maps and architecture featuring prominently.   

“Illustrated maps are a charming way to put local places in context, and people enjoy spotting places and streets that they know,” Jane says. 

“I find east London, and Hackney in particular, exhilarating and exciting.”  

Tony Chung, owner of the dry-cleaning business and the exhibition space, told the Gazette: “We wanted to have a space for local artists to showcase their works about the Hackney community.   

The Steam Room is a dry cleaners which doubles as an exhibition space for local artists. 

The Steam Room is a dry cleaners which doubles as an exhibition space for local artists. - Credit: Xindi Wei

“We reached out to Jane through Instagram because we loved her work and are proud of the local area.  

“We also have this window exhibition so people can actually view art outside, giving them enjoyment when they walk past, as we see a lot of passers-by looking sad in Covid times.”  

Her exhibition will be showcased at the Steam Room and a restaurant cafe located below the dry cleaners, called Gilvic, for a month.   

The exhibition will be up at the dry cleaner on Kingsland Road for a month. 

The exhibition will be up at the dry cleaners on Kingsland Road for a month. - Credit: Xindi Wei


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