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'An Island Ruled by Queens' 1 by Shehzil Malik Image by Agnese Sanvito

Image by Agnese Sanvito

'An Island Ruled by Queens' 1 by Shehzil Malik
'Casts of Hoxton' 1 by Daniel Valero Image by Agnese Sanvito

Image by Agnese Sanvito

'Casts of Hoxton' 1 by Daniel Valero
'Memories of Things Unseen' 4 by Sakshi Gupta Image by Agnese Sanvito

Image by Agnese Sanvito

'Memories of Things Unseen' 4 by Sakshi Gupta

20 October 2021

The creative outputs of our 2020 Housewarming Residencies have been unveiled at our new global headquarters in Stratford, London.

Three international artists/designers connected with East London based arts organisations and communities in an eight-week-long collaborative project across 2020. The project was curated and produced by Create London, who work with local communities in cities to commission art and architecture that is ambitious, purposeful and useful.

Due to the impact of Covid-19, each residency evolved into a digital collaboration, with artists and organisations exchanging skills and ideas remotely. The global pandemic, and a need to connect via virtual means, has helped to inform and inspire each of the pieces now on display in Stratford.


Sakshi Gupta, Memories of Things Unseen (reclaimed corrugated sheet metal, steel tubes, rivets)

In collaboration with Blackhorse Workshop (Waltham Forest) and artists James Kearney, Toby Poolman and Yesenia Thibault-Picazo.

The use of corrugated metal embodies Gupta’s own experience during the 2020 lockdown of looking out of her apartment window and observing rooftops in Mumbai.

Suspended in mid-air in the building’s atrium, the installation brings together two distinct and recognisable elements: a canopy and a sail. The roof-like canopy resembles a temporary structure, such as a tent or a makeshift shelter that appears worn through exposure to extreme weather conditions. These components carry their own resonances and come together as a whole to frame a meditation on transience and the need for stability, symbolically marking global events of our time, including climate change, the displacement of people and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Shehzil Malik, An Island Ruled by Queens (wallpaper); The Louisa Tapestry, The Sadie Tapestry, The Sahra Tapestry (digital prints on fabric)

In collaboration with OOMK (One of My Kind) at Rabbits Road Press and artists Louisa Tock, Sadie St. Hillaire and Sahra Hersi

These pieces, installed in the communal Stratford Suite meeting room, are based on conversations Malik had with artists from East London, covering topics such as what does home mean? how do women navigate public spaces? and how are artworks shaped by identity and surroundings?

Having never visited England, Malik depicts forms that represent ideas generated by her conversations, as if recording accounts of a far-away land. In the wallpaper, she adopts mixed motifs found in Persian and Arabic manuscripts with imagery inspired by William Morris, creating a pattern of stories of a folkloric island. She includes the Waq-Waq tree, part of medieval Arabic myth and found on an island inhabited only by women.

The portraits represent women imagined inhabiting the island, while also embodying the multicultural nature of East London communities, interwoven with patterns drawn from Malik's own Pakistani cultural heritage. The patterns and backgrounds were riso-printed and digitally collaged into the works.

Daniel Valero, Casts of Hoxton (stoneware, terracotta, clay)

In collaboration with Aaron Angell at Troy Town Art Pottery with Hoxton Gardenware and artists Amelia Brokenbrow, Ned Davies
and Elliot Anderson.

Installed in the building’s glasshouse, Valero’s sculptural planters are inspired by hundreds of photographs the Hoxton Gardenware group shared of their local area, creating a vivid impression of everyday life and the built environment of the neighbourhood.

Valero’s residency was built around sessions discussing why the images were important to the group, generating observations of patterns, symbols and stories hidden within each image. Through the group’s gaze, Valero gained an insight into life in Hoxton, despite being thousands of miles away in Mexico.

Each of the forms is inspired by physical elements present in the images: brickwork, patterns of leaves on a wall, or rubbish chutes on the side of a block of flats. The varied colouration of the stoneware gives the pieces unique characters, as if each has its own story to tell

Read more about the residencies and artists and organisations involved here.