Hackney Studio is a series by London photographer Jenny Lewis – featured previously – that celebrates the diverse mixture of creative personalities in the borough, before the rise of gentrification potentially pushes them out of the area for good.
It's a project that seeks out those individuals, not just the artists that get column inches, but the whole spectrum of creatives that make up the spirit of Hackney.
"Rather than work from an obvious list I decided to let the subjects have control of their family tree," explains Jenny. "Each nomination selects the next, so they are all linked through a thread of mutual respect and inspiration. Established artists pick their tutors, and tutors pick their assistants so the series goes back and forth between the unknown and the established. This lack of control makes the series exciting to work on, every nomination dramatically effects the direction the series takes."
Jenny continued: "Hackney is still full of creatives working down side alleys, tucked behind residential streets, in old factories and warehouses as well as new studio communities. It's possibly the last chance to celebrate Hackney's artistic community before the gentrification of the area chases everyone to new pastures.
"In fact, since I started the series a number of the artists involved have been forced to move. The borough is evolving so quickly it sometimes feels like historical documentation, recording the way things once were, capturing a studio with the twenty or so years build up of detritus before the slate is wiped clean and a block of flats takes its place."
Jenny has lived in Hackney for 20 years and finds herself being drawn to work on projects inspired by her local community. Another Hackney-based project that she's involved with is One Day Young, capturing new mothers in their own homes within 24 hours of the birth. Discover more at jennylewis.net.