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Jenny Lewis’ Hackney Artists & Makers

November 6, 2015
by the gentle author

In recent years, Photographer Jenny Lewis has been undertaking a project capturing portraits of artists and makers in their workshops and studios in Hackney, but what was initially intended as a gallery of thriving endeavour became an unintended elegy.

“I thought I was working on a series celebrating the creatives of my community, giving the opportunity to build up a family tree of like-minded spirits, as each subject nominating the next to create an authentic bloodline. Yet before long, every conversation seemed to lead to ‘Glad you caught us now, we’ve been here twenty years and the building’s being flattened next month.’ As the series has evolved, the landscape changed before my eyes and more than half of those I photographed have either sold up and moved on or – increasingly – been evicted. Many now work from home as they can no longer afford a studio and people are struggling.” – Jenny Lewis

Matthew Snow, Screen Printer

Kirsty Harris, Artist

Martino Gamper, Furniture Designer

Anna Stephenson, Fashion Designer

Dan Holiday, Artist

Cressida Bell, Textile Designer

Felix de Pass, Designer

Edwina Orr & David Trayner, Holographic Artists

Archie Proudfoot, Sign Writer

Lu Flux, Fashion Designer

Michael Marriott, Furniture Designer

Mary Stephenson, Artist

Miles Glynn, Jeweller

Minnie- Mae Scott, Textile Designer

Oliver Fowles, Watch Maker

Rose de Borman, Textile Designer

Graham Rawle, Artist & Writer

Noemi Klein, Jeweller

Paul Reynolds, Curator

Romilly Saumerez-Smith, Jeweller

Piers Atkinson, Milliner

Katy Hackney, Jeweller

Kevin Francis Gray, Sculptor

Photographs copyright © Jenny Lewis

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12 Responses leave one →
  1. Davey permalink
    November 6, 2015

    Breaks my heart to see so many local talents pushed out. Where will the creative ones end up?

  2. November 6, 2015

    How sad that there is no longer suitable workspace for these talented young artisans and artists. Valerie

  3. November 6, 2015

    How sad that development has pushed this wonderful band of creatives on. The photographs are a wonderful testament to the creative spirit and strength that gives every community soul. No matter where they are, creativity will continue.

  4. Annie G permalink
    November 6, 2015

    This is indeed sad. I can foresee a time when London will realise that it is full of rich people but nobody to sell them food, pour them drinks or make their clothes. To say nothing of cleaning their houses, teaching their children or tending their wounds and illnesses. If all you make is money, you will starve. But actually, no. This is not London’s history and it will not be its future. I hope these creative and imaginative people find somewhere new to settle and carry on the good work.

  5. Marco permalink
    November 6, 2015

    These portraits are beautiful and so powerful! You can really tell that these artists/makers are satisfied with their work.

  6. Sally Baldwin permalink
    November 6, 2015

    I love the Vermeerlike quality of the first photo, the screen printer holding his dog… Perfectly fits the elegiac tone of this group of portraits.


  7. November 6, 2015

    Thank you for your comments its been a real privilege to meet all these, next shoot booked for Monday and i can’t wait.

  8. November 6, 2015

    We are by no means all moving out ! Where I work ( Clarence Mews ) there is a thriving and growing community of designers and craftspeople. I’m definitely staying put.
    So it’s not all doom & gloom !!!

  9. Glynis Spencer permalink
    November 6, 2015

    As an Artisi, my heart goes out to fellow creators. We’re told this country needs the income the creative arts generates. So why are they making it so difficult for people to create? Hope you all get somewhere soon! xx

  10. Sue Jessett permalink
    November 7, 2015

    How very sad when a creative community become victims of it’s own success. They bring a special spirt to our environments, which people embrace & celibate. Problem is such changes attract others who move in & make additional changes that distroy the very same environmental community that attracted them in the first place. Where artists & artisans settle developers & greedy landlords are not far behind making fast amounts of financial gain on the strength & back of such creative groups. Beautiful collection of photographs Jenny they real do capture the artisan spirt.

  11. November 7, 2015

    Rampant Capitalism smites the humble artisan. Hopefully, they will keep going in their homes and garden sheds and survive these difficult times.

  12. November 10, 2015

    I used to have a studio in Tenterground, though didn’t get our lease renewed as Tracy Emin bought the whole building kicking out 20 artists, though, at least an artist kicked out artists as opposed to it being turned into a pile of twat flats
    hang on!
    great piece jen, keep getting it out there!

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