Upcoming unconventional Well Street art exhibition

An unconventional art project with the aim of opening up communication between South Hackney residents and a newly-opened art gallery, opens its doors to the public tonight.

“Well Secret” is the culmination of two months spent by Italian artist Anna Lopez engaging with the Well Street community, after a commission from Karin Janssen’s Project Space which opened in April.

Lopez set up unexpected scenarios in Well Street, leaving a voice recorder requesting people to reveal secrets and gossip they didn’t want other people to know.

She also asked random passers-by to remind themselves of something they need to do later, and write it on a post-it note to stick on the gallery window.

“Some people were really stressing their actual plans and others wrote more silly or profound things, like “give more attention to my wife,” or “kiss my son goodbye,” - some things were really emotional.

“The art I’m talking about is not an institutional way to think about it, it’s more in the interaction - I create the framework and the audience experience it.

“Some locals were sceptical about the tasks I gave them at the beginning, but the other day a girl passed and asked what I was going to get them to do next.

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“The idea is to make art more fun and accessible and less elitist,” added Ms Lopez.

Visitors to the exhibition will be given an audio player, headphones and a map to guide them on an audio tour entitled Well Sonic.

“I went around the area and talked and observed who’s doing what, and found there are a lot of little tribes in Well Street – the squatters, the Turkish community, travellers, born and bred English and the gangs,” she said.

“I create art using the community and the result is a portrait of the community.”

The exhibition at the Karin Janssen Project Space in Well Street opens tonight (Thursday) from 6pm to 9pm and is also open Friday July 8 from noon to 8 pm.