Thursday, 13 August 2009

Elevator Gallery

By Monique Jackson

Cherie Marie Viederfield is co-owner and curator of Elevator Gallery in Mother Studio building in Hackney Wick. Cherie tells jotta about the birth of Hackney WickED and her opinions on the rise of the area.

last image: by Rowan Corkill one of the artists exhibiting in "The Tomorrow People 2009" at the Elevator Gallery (Click any image to enlarge it)

Could you tell me about yourself, your role within the gallery?

I studied fine art at Central Saint Martins. I make sculpture, photomontage and also performance based work under my alter ego Snoozie Hexagon. After I graduated I was on the lookout for cheap studio space and a friend told me about Mother Studios. I took a space in the attic adjacent to a large project space that was to become Elevator Gallery, the rest is history.

What do you think are the primary objectives of Hackney Wicked?
Mainly it is about fun. If it isn’t fun I wouldn’t be interested. It’s also about telling the world about the fantastic creative energy here. It’s a concrete paradise.

How do Elevator gallery fit into this? For the festival we will be showcasing the best of emerging arts graduates from the UK in a show called The Tomorrow People.

To what extent do you feel last year’s Hackney WickED was a success? Last year we came up with the idea of doing an art festival on a drunken afternoon at Ingrid Z’s. (Residence gALLERY). It was incredibly haphazard, we had no budget and only 3 months to organize but to our dismay thousands of people turned up and Time out Magazine dedicated an issue to it. They said that Hackney Wick was the new Shoreditch...hilarious!

With money coming in in preparation for the 2012 Olympic Games do you think there’s a danger of the gentrification of Hackney Wick compromising what initially made it a great place for creatives to live and work?
No not at all. The Olympics is happening, we can’t stop it. It would be very foolish for a creative community to stagnate and not be creative. That would be a futile protest. If anything the festival lets the creative community stand their ground. It’s a really exciting place to be right now. None of us know how long it could last. We should celebrate the now whilst its its here.

What advice would you have for graduates and start up studios wanting to make Hackney Wick their home?
Get in quick. It’s a beautiful place, a really vibrant, young, tight-knit artist community. But the word is out, the waiting lists for studios here are growing, big time.

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