Artist Yuri Pattison opens a major new commission as part of Chisenhale Gallery Create Residency

Tuesday, 28 June 2016



User, Space comprises an entirely new body of work, including digital and sculptural elements that Pattison has developed over the past 18 months as part of his Chisenhale Gallery Create Residency (2014 -16). The exhibition opens at Chisenhale Gallery on 7 July and runs until 28 August 2016.

Pattison imagines a speculative live/work environment drawing influence from Modernist architecture and science fiction, both of which imagine the future as a utopian space of fantastic social and political potential. Pattison is interested in ideas of transparency – from the open communication of data, to the transparent architectures of new models for shared live/work space, symptomatic of the increasingly flexible and permeable boundaries between life and work. Pattison draws on histories of architectural design and exemplary live/work spaces to examine the origins of these contemporary models.

The exhibition comprises an immersive installation occupying the entire gallery. A wall of industrial racking, often used in large global distribution warehouses, acts as a support structure for the installation. The racking system houses a bank of networked computers that control LED and natural light to create an artificially accelerated loop of a standard working day. The computers also synchronise and control playback across multiple device-sized screens, which display a series of new video works in which Pattison contrasts abstracted views of contemporary workspaces, with the interiors of experimental living spaces.

Throughout his residency, Pattison has been working within the evolving ecology of East London’s Tech City; a technology cluster also referred to as Silicon Roundabout, where new initiatives have emerged as popular sites of shared workspace for growing tech and creative start-up companies. Pattison has also been working within London Hackspace – a community run space for skill sharing and workshops – as a means to explore the politics of shared workspace representative of wider global trends in alternative hackerspace communities, the ethos of which is echoed in contemporary start-up companies and increased mobile working.

A series of new sculptures, which Pattison has installed at sites across east London including Second Home, a workhub for creative companies; Campus London, a Google space for London’s start-up community and London Hackspace, are incorporated into the installation at Chisenhale. Each sculpture contains active elements, such as a bitcoin mining rig that monitors online transactions and accumulates small amounts of capital. The sculptures are networked to jointly host a website which gathers the research material generated during Pattison’s residency.

Through this major new body of work Pattison examines the pervasive nature of new technologies, which increasingly influence both how, and where, we live and work. Contemporary start-up companies, particularly in the tech industry, often draw on the aesthetics of historical speculative environments and the values of progress and transparency are employed for enhanced productivity. Pattison questions the impact of transparency and how the blurring of lines between leisure, work and domestic space shapes an increasingly abstracted sense of time. In this work Pattison considers the failed potential of science fiction, as a means to critique the present by speculating on a utopian future, while we live within the reality of a future we’ve imagined.



Chicken Town launches a new growing project with children in Tottenham

Tuesday, 17 May 2016


The Chicken Town gang have teamed up with Earlsmead School in Tottenham on a long-term project to encourage healthy eating in the area. Work is underway on a new growing space, where pupils can grow their own food to cook and eat.

red bin

With help from the School Council and Eco Monitors, the team started to clear the planting areas ready to grow fruit, herbs and vegetables this week. We’re looking forward to the next workshop in June, to encouraging more budding young gardeners and to seeing and tasting some of the delicious produce in due course.

watering can

A big thanks to all the children who helped Dunya, Chicken Town’s Community Director, and Simon, our gardening expert, to kick start the project.

The project is supported by L&Q.

Winner of Your Ad Here: Nigeria Announced

Thursday, 12 May 2016


We are delighted to announce artist Lanre Lawal as winner of Your Ad Here: Nigeria competition, part of a major new project exploring the relationship between advertising and daily life in the city of Lagos.

Commissioned by Create and A Whitespace Creative Agency in Nigeria and funded by the British Council, artists Karo Akpokiere (Nigeria and Germany), Matt Stokes (UK) and Nick Waplington (UK and US) developed three new works that brought art into the public space.

Following the launch of these three new works in February, artists in Nigeria, at all stages of their career were invited to propose a new artwork that represents daily life in Lagos or Abuja.

The Your Ad Here competition invited artists in Nigeria to propose new art works for billboard sites conventionally reserved for advertising. Artists were invited to develop new images responding to day-to-day life in Lagos and the many social networks and private and public spaces of the city.

Lanre’s winning entry is now live on a billboard in Lagos and will be exhibited in an exhibition at Whitespace from 13-20 May 2016, alongside the work of 12 runners up.

The runners-up in the competition include Adeola Olagunju, Chris Iduma, Falodun Oluwafemi, Femi Morakinyo, Logo Oluwamuyiwa, Melange Adediji, Oladoyin Akinwunmiju, Joseph Audu, and Solomon Eko.

Your Ad Here is part of UK/Nigeria 2015–16, a major season of arts in Nigeria aimed at building new audiences, creating new collaborations and strengthening relationships between the UK and Nigeria.

Aaron Angell to build London’s only publicly accessible gas-fired kiln through Create Cities commission

Monday, 21 March 2016

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We are pleased to announce that the inaugural Create Cities commission has been awarded to British artist Aaron Angell. Angell is the first recipient of the commission, which provides a leading artist with a major opportunity to deliver a project that will have a lasting impact on the life of a community. It is made possible by Bank of America Merrill Lynch which, for the 8th consecutive year, has partnered with Create to support artists in east London.

Over the next two years Angell will realise his project, Town Gas, which will see the construction of London’s only publicly accessible gas-fired kiln. Town Gas will work with 20 local young people aged between 16 and 24 to build and operate the kiln.

Angell founded the experimental ceramics studio Troy Town Art Pottery in 2013 in response to dwindling ceramics access in London. The pottery provides a space for artists to explore the practice of ceramics, removed from the idea of production and function that is embedded in the history of the medium. Town Gas will expand this approach, introducing a new way of thinking about ceramics to young adults in east London.

Angell will offer workshops and other activities throughout 2016 in collaboration with Create Jobs and Troy Town Art Pottery, culminating in a traineeship on how to use the gas-fired kiln, launched in summer 2016. The project aims to train the young adults to run the pottery workshop at ground level and through participation in the project develop new transferable skills to support their future ambitions in education and employment.

Aaron Angell said of the project:

‘By opening London’s only publically accessible gas kiln we will be opening up a whole new world of creative possibilities, both for young people in east London and existing artists in the area.

‘We will be able to produce surfaces from the entirety of ceramics’ long history rather than just those of the past 50 years, meaning that Town Gas will combine a unique artistic endeavour with a fresh way of engaging local young people with the creative life of east London.

‘Electric kilns may be easier to maintain, but they produce a very different result. In a gas kiln we starve the glaze reactions of oxygen and produce much more dynamic results – electric kiln firing is too clean and generic.’

Hadrian Garrard, Director, Create said:

‘We are excited to be working with Aaron, on Town Gas. There are so many young people who grow up in east London who are excluded from the very opportunities that people are moving to the area to be part of. Town Gas is about creating a new infrastructure for these young people and provides an opportunity to work with a leading artist to develop skills which they can use later in life.

Emma Baudey, EMEA Arts and Culture manager, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, said:

‘As a leading corporate supporter of the arts we are delighted to continue our long-standing relationship with Create through Aaron Angell’s Town Gas. We are especially pleased that this project will offer a unique learning experience to a group of disadvantaged young people. Create is to be commended on its multi- year creative approach in uniting London’s east end community.’


Image courtesy Aaron Angell and Troy Town Art Pottery. Photo by Ester Keate.

GRIT – Review

Friday, 11 December 2015

Rebecca interviews Sam Friedman from LSE -GRIT  copy

Creativity Works: Panic! participant, Rebecca Legister-Anderson, reviews the second in our series of Panic! panel discussions:

Is there enough diversity within the arts? Can you make it without coming from a privileged background? These were the burning questions at the Panic! Grit event, which I attended at the Barbican on Monday 29 November, a debate about how a career within the arts now only seems to be accessible for those from a white, middle class background.

On the panel were:
Aditya Chakrabortty, a senior economics commenter for The Guardian, who chaired the debate.
Frances Corner, Head of London College of Fashion and author.
Catherine Ince, Senior Curator at the V&A.
Dr Sam Friedman, Assistant Professor of Sociology at The London School of Economics
Holly Fulton, award-winning women’s wear designer based in East London.

It was easily agreed that it has become more difficult to pursue a career in the arts or media if you’re from a non-privileged background, with 44% of those within the TV, film and music industries being privately educated.

Competition is fierce for jobs and experience is key to getting your foot in the door. Unpaid internships are now the most common way to gain this valuable experience but prove to be a barrier for those from a non-privileged background; to take on these internships without a paid job to fund living costs. I can easily draw from my personal experiences as an aspiring journalist, and those of my friends who are seeking to kick start a creative career, having to instead balance working a full time or part time job to support themselves while working on a creative project.

The panel discussed the unfairness of unpaid internships; in which one member of the audience became heated at the fact actors are not paid for student films. Members from the Panic! team also shared their stories, including Symphonni, an aspiring journalist who had to leave college to look after her ill grandmother, Lizzie, an unemployed graduate from a Film and Television degree at LCC and Nadia, a non graduate looking to gain experience and find work in journalism and broadcasting. When the panel asked the team whether they think they will make it into their chosen careers, it was responded to with mixed feelings and an overall pessimistic tone that it is looking unlikely.

This is the state of the creative industry today. It’s become an exclusive club for those with money, and often with the bank of mum and dad paying for your entry fee – while it’s become a pipe dream for those outside. Unsurprisingly, there are also some people who believe there are no such problems. This was evident with another member of the audience who seems to come from a privileged background, claiming people “just need to get off their arses, not wait around for help and just get on with it”. Having stated beforehand that he runs his own business and bankrolls his own daughter through her creative career, he is happy to stay in his own bubble, not fully understanding challenges that the non-privileged face.

But it is time for change and bubble needs to be burst. The arts industry needs a shake up. As a result, some would say that the arts and creative sector has lost its edginess and grit due to everyone in the industry coming from a similar background. Actress Julie Walters, who hails from a working class background, also shares a similar view stating that “working class kids aren’t represented [within contemporary dramas]” and that she would have struggled to make it as an actress if she had started her career today.

The debate was well worth going to. It is obvious that more diversity and equality is needed within the arts and it is brilliant that programmes like Create Jobs can help those access opportunities that wouldn’t otherwise be possible.

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Creativity Works is Mayor’s Fund for London programme, supported by the Berkeley Foundation and Be Open and delivered in partnership with Create and A New Direction.

Create announces the findings of the Panic! survey

Monday, 23 November 2015


Today we announce the findings of our national Panic! survey, which was delivered in association with Goldsmiths, University of London, University of Sheffield and LSE as part of our major new project Panic! What Happened to Social Mobility in the Arts?

The survey provides the most wide-ranging picture to date of working life across the core sectors of the cultural and creative industries in the UK. The findings provide hard evidence for the common impression that the arts sector is a closed shop where most people are middle class and it also makes revealing discoveries about how gender and ethnicity can affect a career in the arts and how higher wage earners view the sector in comparison to lower wage earners.

In total 2,539 people working in all core areas of the cultural industries contributed to the survey by way of an open call on in September and October 2015. Museums, galleries and libraries; performance and music; and visual arts were the best represented categories and although the survey found significant discrepancies in the way people working in the arts view the sector, it showed overwhelmingly that the arts can be a precarious industry where support structures from families are essential to allowing those working in the industry to succeed.

The most revealing findings of the survey are:

  • Those that earn over £50,000 p/a are most likely to believe that they got there through hard work, talent and ambition. Those earning under £5,000 p/a are most likely to believe that it’s not about what you know but who you know.
  • The majority of white people in the arts don’t acknowledge the barriers facing BAME people trying to find a foothold in the sector.
  • Women are more likely than men to have worked in the arts sector for free and once paid are generally paid less than their male counterparts.

The survey also found that an overwhelming majority of respondents working in the arts (76%) had at least one parent working in a managerial or professional (i.e. ‘middle class’) job whilst they were growing up and that over half had at least one parent with a degree whilst growing up. When this is paired with the fact that nearly 90% of respondents had worked for free at some point in their career, the Panic! research paints a bleak picture that if young people don’t have parents that are able to support them in their pursuit of a creative career then it is an extremely hard to break into the industry.

More key findings:

  • 88% of our respondents working in the cultural industries have worked for free at some point in their careers.
  • 38% of our respondents working in the cultural industries do not have a contract.
  • 30% of BAME people think ethnicity is very important to getting ahead, whilst only 10% of white people believe ethnicity is very important to their chances of getting ahead.
  • 32% of women are likely to have done unpaid internships as opposed to 23% of men.
  • On average men working in the cultural industries earn 32% more then women working in the sector.

What do these findings mean to the UK’s creative and cultural sector? Panic! will host a season of debates, music and film bringing together people from across the political spectrum to reflect upon the findings of the survey and encourage government, cultural institutions and businesses to reflect on their part in the situation.

Panic! is a Create project, delivered in partnership with the Barbican, the Guardian, Goldsmiths University and British Art Show 8, with additional support from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

Create announce the line up for major new project Panic! What Happened to Social Mobility in the Arts?

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Lucus_EcclestonActor Christopher Ellecston and artist Sarah Lucus as part of Peter Saville’s Panic! visual campaign

We are pleased to announce the line up for our major new project Panic! What Happened to Social Mobility in the Arts? - a season of music, film, art and debate investigating the state of the cultural sector in the UK.

The Panic! programme will bring together industry leaders, institutional representatives, writers, entrepreneurs, artists and musicians from across the political spectrum to investigate the effects of housing costs, benefit cuts and low salaries have on the UK arts. The season will also explore the impact of rising education fees, reduced arts provision in schools and the proliferation of unpaid internships in the creative industries.

The programme will also reflect on the findings of a new national survey, commissioned by Create and delivered by Goldsmiths, announced in November 2015.


Thursday 26th November 7pm

Does popular culture offer the same opportunities for young ambitious artists today? 

On the panel: Radio DJ Stuart Maconie, author of ‘The Lost Women of Rock Music’ Helen ReddingtonPauline Black from The Selector and the Principal of the Brit School Stuart Worden. Guardian journalist Jude Rogers will chair.

Monday 30th November 7pm

Do diverse workforces make institutions and businesses more dynamic and successful?

On the panel: the Head of London College of Fashion Frances Corner, CEO of Wolff Olins lje Nwokorie and Catherine Ince senior curator at V&A East. Guardian journalist Aditya Chakrabortty will chair.

Tuesday 1st December 7pm 

Does a career in the arts leave you forever in debt? 

On the panel: Shelly Asquith the Vice President of Welfare at NUS, lecturer and author of ‘Everything Is Connected’ Carl Lee with more to be announced.

Wednesday 2nd December 7pm

Is the reputation of London as a creative leader over? 

On the panel: Prof. Mark Brearly Architect and head of Cass Cities MA, the writer and journalist Dawn Foster and London based artist Adham Faramawy. Guardian journalist Zoe Williams will chair.

Friday 4th December 4pm

A conference about the possibilities of doing it for yourself organised by young people living in London. 

On the panel: Femi Adeyemi Founder, NTS Radio & part of Boiler Room, Alex Boateng from Island Records, lead singer of Rubella Ballet Zillah Minx and grime musician Slix from Ruff Sqwad. Chair to be announced.


Friday 4th December 7.30pm

An evening of music that brings together established and emerging artists. 

Electronic duo Darkstar, Newcastle-based troubadour Richard Dawson, singer/songwriter Sivuand a DJ set from the acclaimed Sleaford Mods will feature as part of a Barbican-produced concert.


Thursday 3rd December 6.30pm

Who can make films today and who can make a living as a filmmaker?

Join filmmakers Cecile Emeke and Destiny Ekaragha, writer and programmer Simran Hans and BAFTA’s Director of Learning & Events, Tim Hunter for an evening of screenings and debate.

Visual Campaign

Accompanying Panic! is a visual campaign conceived by British art director Peter Saville to exemplify the current climate in the arts. The campaign features iconic faces from theatre, film, TV, art, literature, fashion and music tagged with the occupation of the principal earner in their families growing up, raising the question, ‘Could these important cultural players have any chance of success in 2015?’

A number of well known faces have lent their support to the campaign, including David BaileyJo BrandJohn CaleGiles DeaconChristopher EcclestonEstellePaterson JosephSarah LucasKen LoachSamantha MortonGrayson PerryJanet Street Porter and Thomas Turgoose.

You can view the full campaign on the dedicated Panic! website.

Panic! is a Create project, delivered in partnership with the Barbican, the Guardian, Goldsmiths University and British Art Show 8, with additional support from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

Company Drinks’ Hop-picking Trip

Thursday, 01 October 2015


Our production intern Tessy Copper attended Company Drinks’ annual hopping trip last month and reports on the stories overheard in the hop fields:

Friday 11 September was no ordinary day in the office as I was whisked away on a coach full of Barking and Dagenham locals for a day of hop picking fun in the sun.  The trip was part of the Company Drinks project by international artist group MyVillages, which aims to establish a self-sustaining community drinks enterprise in the east London Borough.

After just an hour’s drive, the landscape changed dramatically from a frenetic concrete scene to serene, picturesque countryside. Upon arriving at Little Scotney Farm we were greeted by the farm owner himself, who spoke a bit about the farming process and the green variety of hops that were currently in season.

Throughout the course of the day hops steadily arrived in their tractor-loads ready for eager picking hands. Somewhat therapeutic, the action of picking hops combined with their bittersweet scent seemed to perfectly compliment listening to these East London locals share stories of their old hop picking days. Most would travel to farms in Kent every year for a working holiday during the hop picking season. It served as a fun break from east London with the bonus of having the opportunity to earn some extra cash.

As the day unfolded we found ourselves exploring the farmland and the production shed, which provided an insight to the overall production process and journey of each hop from field to oast house, where they are dried before packing.

Along with picking hops to our heart’s content and enjoying a reminiscent day in the countryside, everyone also had the chance to sample some of Company’s homemade beverages.

Overall the ethos of Company Drinks is focussed on reviving these traditions, bringing people back together through organised community foraging and picking events. Company have been holding many trips this year from fruit harvesting and farm visits to cola and lemonade making workshops.

The hops picked at Little Scotney Farm were taken straight to Kernel Brewery in Bermondsey to be transformed into green hop ale, which will be on sale at Frieze Art Fair this month from 13th – 17th October. The hops will also be made into a delicious green hop tonic by east London soft drinks company Square Root, which will be bottled and sold at some of Company’s upcoming events so keep checking back on their website for further information and updates.

Tessy Cooper
Production Intern, Create London




Create announces new national survey that aims to provide the broadest picture to date of working life across the UK cultural and creative industries

Monday, 21 September 2015


We are excited to announce the launch of our major new project Panic! What Happened to Social Mobility in the Arts?

Through a wide-ranging programme of music, film and debate, Panic! will investigate the state of the cultural sector in the UK. Examining the effects of housing costs, benefits changes and low salaries on access to arts jobs, Panic! will also explore the impact of rising higher education fees, reduced arts provision in schools and the proliferation of unpaid internships in the creative industries.

All elements of the programme will reflect on the findings of a new national research survey, commissioned by Create and delivered by Goldsmiths, that aims to provide the broadest picture to date of working life across all of the cultural and creative industries in the UK. Whilst academic and government research has given us important insights into the cultural and creative workforce, there is as yet no comprehensive and detailed research that has sufficiently large numbers to understand the diversity within the cultural and creative industries.

The Panic! survey aims to discover the reasons behind the lack of working-class representation in the creative workforce and to provide hard evidence of how a changing society is impacting on the economic and societal background of those working in the cultural and creative industries.

If you work in the creative and cultural sector in the UK in any capacity we’d be delighted if you’d take some time, no more than 10 minutes, to tell us your experiences and thoughts. Visit the Guardian website to fill in the Panic! survey now.

We’ll be publishing the results of the survey in November 2015 to coincide with the launch of the Panic! public programme – 10-day’s of music, film and debate dedicated to the provision of UK arts. Full details can be found on the Panic! website.

Panic! is a Create project, delivered in partnership with the Barbican, the Guardian, Goldsmiths University and British Art Show 8. 

Applications now open for Old Manor Park Library studio spaces

Thursday, 27 August 2015

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We are now inviting applications from artists interested in applying for affordable studios in Old Manor Park Library.

The former library, which is a beautiful Grade II listed Carnegie building, will be a new centre for artist workspaces informed by the ethos of free public libraries and workers’ education movements. The Library will incorporate artist studios, community centre, meeting space, event venue and office. It is conceived as a space where artists and people living in east London connect and share knowledge.

Artists invited to work at The Old Manor Park Library will include a mix of emerging and established artists working in the London Borough of Newham and London wide. The Library will support artist practice that encompasses making, performance, conversation, research and group activity.

All artists based at Old Manor Park Library will contribute to a programme of activity including talks, meals, dances and other activities with artists and local residents.

To apply please visit the Bow Arts website.

The deadline for applications is Monday 21 September. Viewings of the studios, which are still under construction, will take place during September.

The Old Manor Park Library project is delivered in partnership by Create, Bow Arts and Newham Council. It is supported by the Mayor of London’s High Street Fund and Arts Council England.


Create and Bow Arts announce major redevelopment of The Old Manor Park Library

Thursday, 02 July 2015

OMPLWe are excited to announce our plans for the redevelopment of The Old Manor Park Library in the London Borough of Newham. The Library, which is a Grade II listed Carnegie building and has been unused for three years, will be redesigned as a centre for publicly accessible workspaces for artists, makers and the community.

Architects Nicholas Lobo Brennan and Astrid Smitham have been commissioned to conceive the new design. Lobo Brennan is a recipient of the Swiss Art Award for Architecture and was a founding member of the award-winning architectural collective Gruppe. Both architects collaborated with Richard Wentworth on Black Maria at King’s Cross during Lobo Brennan’s time with Gruppe. The project is being supported by £177,500 from the Mayor of London’s High Street Fund and the building has been provided on a seven-year lease from Newham Council.

The new centre is due to open in October 2015 and will incorporate affordable artist studios, meeting spaces and the Rabbits Road Institute, a pioneering new art space led by artists Ruth Beale and Amy Feneck. The centre will provide support for artistic practices encompassing making, performance, research and group activities. It will allow artists and residents of east London to connect with each other in new ways, enabling a radical new sharing of knowledge, skills and resources and the furthering of cultural engagement.

The rationale for the reimagined library was inspired by research led by Beale and Feneck on The Free Library Movement of the mid-Victorian period that developed alongside several other workers’ education movements, striving for the improvement of universal municipal education services. The Old Manor Park Library will bring the ethos of the Movement into the 21st century, asking what creative practice requires today and what it will continue to need over the next decade. The project will also ask what it is that artists can bring to a neighbourhood through self-education, skill sharing and the reimagining of a municipal heritage building.

Lobo Brennan and Smitham, who are based in London and Zurich, have responded to the commission by conceiving a design that will both conserve the historical richness of the building and provide a new type of public building for the future of creative industries in London communities. They performed extensive research into the nature of work, production and collective life to conceive its design, looking back at the history of municipal learning spaces and investigating the specific history of this Carnegie building.

Elements of the new interior features of the building will be transparent and moveable, allowing for a freely adaptable space that can respond to the needs of its users, whilst always maintaining a visible link to its history. An arcade-style walkway will run through the studios on each floor, resembling a streetscape and providing welcoming but secure workspaces. The original decorative features and floors of the building will be exposed and restored to their original state.

Artists invited to work at The Old Manor Park Library will include established and emerging artists working within global art discourse as well as artists living in Newham who will bring specific local knowledge to the new environment. All of the artists involved in the library will engage with the local community on collaborative workshops and projects that will be free and open to all.

The Old Manor Park Library is delivered in partnership by Create, Bow Arts and Newham Council. It is supported by the Mayor of London’s High Street Fund.

Line-up announced for Walthamstow Garden Party 2015

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

We are delighted to announce the first line-up details for Walthamstow Garden Party 2015.

This year’s festival, taking place in Walthamstow’s Lloyd Park on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 July, will feature the best of local talent alongside international musicians across two music stages, the World’s End Big Top and the News From Nowhere Stage. Performers will include afrobeat pioneers Femi Kuti & The Positive Force; rising UK hip-hop star and Mercury Music Prize nominee Ghostpoet; critically acclaimed post-punk artist LoneLady; 12-piece Columbian salsa band LA-33; and legendary Jamaican ska band Skatalites.

The theatre and dance programme will include performances and workshops by award-winning hip-hop dance company Boy Blue Entertainment; acts from Leyton-based Gravity Circus Centre; a workshop fusing Kathak and Bollywood dance styles by Khyal Arts; and Fevered Sleep’s Little Universe, a playful performance for under 7s and their families.

The Real Food Festival will provide food from around the globe while E17 Designers Market will showcase local artisanal designs. Artillery Island (in the garden’s moat) will host a programme of poetry, readings, storytelling and comedy alongside the opportunity to taste and buy local produce at the Appetite Festival. The Useful & Beautiful Craft Marquee will present a designer/maker focused programme inspired by the life and work of William Morris inviting children and adults to follow a trail around the park and try their hand printmaking, woodwork, jewellery-making, ceramics and more.

The weekend will also feature a pop-up cinema in the Winns Gallery; a traditional sports day, walks and talks, and Mini Garden Party by Lloyd Park Children’s Centre and the E17 Community Marquee will offer locals the chance to meet and inspire each other, celebrating the activity of the Walthamstow community.

The full weekend programme can be found on the Garden Party’s new dedicated website.

Walthamstow Garden Party is delivered by the Barbican in partnership with Create and Waltham Forest Council.

Yuri Pattison to launch new website and talks series as part of his Chisenhale Gallery Create Residency

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

To mark the midpoint of his commission for the Chisenhale Gallery Create Residency artist Yuri Pattison will be launching Enquire to Annotate, a new website and series of talks and workshops.

Pattison works in digital media and sculpture, exploring ways in which the virtual world meets the everyday. For this residency his new line of research is focused on the idea of transparency; how both large companies and smaller networks communicate information visibly to encourage a feeling of security among consumers. Pattison questions how this functions, interrogating the aesthetics, success and failures of transparency.

Pattison is currently working in east London’s Tech City, a technology cluster also referred to as Silicon Roundabout where workhubs like Second Home have emerged as desirable sites of shared workspace for growing creative companies. The artist is also working within London Hackspace a grassroots, community-run space for skill sharing and workshops. Pattison has identified these sites of co-production as a means to explore the politics of shared workspace and consider what a transparent approach to working together might look like.

The new website developed by Pattison, and constantly updated, will make the research generated throughout the residency available to audiences between its launch in July 2015 and April 2016. This beta-testing period will allow users open access to Pattison’s material, sketches for works and commissioned texts, all linked by the artist within a changing online landscape. The events programme, also running between July 2015 and April 2016, will include talks and workshops exploring ideas of the networked society, both immaterial and physical, and the fragility of the internet which the artist describes as ‘an architecture on the verge of collapse’.

An exhibition of work by Pattison will mark the culmination of the residency at Chisenhale Gallery in July 2016. The show will include a series of sculptures, linked through an online network and built by the artist, which expose the inner workings and complex systems of data circulation through transparent LCD screens and exposed circuit boards. These sculptures will be deployed at a number of sites including Second Home during the residency.

Enquire to Annotate will be launched at a special event at Second Home in east London on Wednesday 22 July at 7pm. It will include a presentation by Pattison, which will mirror the aesthetics and format often used by major software developers and tech innovators.

Assemble shortlisted for Turner Prize 2015

Thursday, 14 May 2015

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We are excited to announce that our longstanding partners Assemble have been nominated for the 2015 Turner Prize for their project Granby Four Streets in Liverpool and our collaborative project Baltic Street Adventure Playground. The architecture and art collective won the Create Art Award in 2011 for Folly for a Flyover, their first public commission and have since collaborated with us on Blackhorse Workshop in 2013 and are working with us again on our ground-breaking new social restaurant Chicken Town, opening in September this year.

Baltic Street Adventure Playground is a new adventure play facility in Dalmarnock, east Glasgow. The project was initiated as an immediate, practical response to the challenges facing a group of children growing up in a relatively scarce urban environment where around 54% of children live below the poverty line.

Since opening, over 300 children have been involved in shaping the future of the playground in a direct and hands on way. It is free to enter, children are free to come and go, and free to play as they choose. Specially trained playworkers supervise the children and support them to pursue their own play, from make-believe to construction projects. It is a constantly evolving child-led space, full of adaptable, breakable, mailable loose parts, from mud and spades to self-built structures, timber, paint and dressing up clothes.

An exhibition of the shortlisted artists’ work will go on display at the Tramway, Glasgow, from 1 October 2015. The winner of the prize will be announced 7 December 2015.

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Create joins British Art Show 8

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Copy of RICHARDS_Raking Light-18 copy 2James Richards, Raking Light, 2014. Still from digital video with sound, 7 minutes 5 seconds. All images courtesy the artist and Cabinet, London

Create are delighted to be collaborating with Hayward Touring for British Art Show 8, curated by Anna Colin and Lydia Yee. Opening in Leeds City Art Gallery on October 9 2015, Create will co-curate one project within the exhibition – more details to be announced soon.

The British Art Show is one of the most ambitious and influential exhibitions of contemporary British art, and a vital marker of current developments. This year the exhibition reflects on the status of the object at a time of increasing overlap between the real and the virtual.

Artists will include:
Åbäke, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Caroline Achaintre, John Akomfrah, Aaron Angell, Pablo Bronstein, Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin, Andrea Büttner, Alexandre da Cunha, Nicolas Deshayes, Benedict Drew, Simon Fujiwara, Martino Gamper, Ryan Gander, Melanie Gilligan, Anthea Hamilton, Will Holder, Alan Kane, Mikhail Karikis, Linder, Rachel Maclean, Ahmet Öğüt, Yuri Pattison, Ciara Phillips, Charlotte Prodger, Laure Prouvost, Magali Reus, James Richards, Eileen Simpson and Ben White, Daniel Sinsel, Cally Spooner, Patrick Staff, Imogen Stidworthy, Hayley Tompkins, Troy Town Art Pottery, Jessica Warboys, Stuart Whipps, Bedwyr Williams, Jesse Wine and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye.

The exhibition tour dates are:

Leeds Art Gallery
9 October 2015 – 10 January 2016

Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Talbot Rice Gallery, University of Edinburgh, and Inverleith House, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
13 February – 8 May 2016

Norwich University of the Arts and Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery
24 June – 4 September 2016

John Hansard Gallery and Southampton City Art Gallery
8 October 2016 – 14 January 2017

Kickstarted – a new project for Tottenham

Thursday, 23 April 2015


Our director Hadrian Garrard speaks about what the future holds for Chicken Town now that we have reached our Kickstarter goal:

We thought that today would be spent phoning all of our friends, families and looking for spare change under the sofa to try and make our target. Instead of this, we reached our Kickstarter target of £50k yesterday, with a day to spare and to say we’re pleased, elated and blown away would be to underplay things a lot.

It seems that a lot of people agree with us – that things need to be fairer in London and that everyone deserves positive choices and the opportunity to eat and to live well. So for this we thank you. We know things are impossibly tight financially for so many of us in this city at the moment but we are so inspired and uplifted by the generosity of spirit (and let’s say it – money) that we’ve seen over the past month. Alongside our backers, donors, our Board of Trustees and our new partners (including Time Out who have come on board as a founding supporter) there is a long list of individuals, organisations, partners and businesses without whom we would have got stuck a long time ago. You know who you are and we thank you down to the bottom of our boots.

So Chicken Town will open in the Autumn. After almost four years of research, development, testing, tasting, arguing (almost solely Ben Rymer and I, who came up with the idea of a chicken shop done well and run as a social business, one eventful night in 2011) and dreaming – we’ll be opening our first food business! We’re proud to be opening in Tottenham and to have the support of Haringey Council and the Mayor of London who are our bold partners in this ambitious venture. Tottenham is a brilliant and surprising place and we’re meeting all kinds of generous and inspiring people there. We’re going to be training and employing local young people (we’re already collecting details from some great folk we’ve bumped into on the way) and we want them to be the face and spirit of Chicken Town. It’s their place and when you walk in the door we want you to get a sense of the talent, energy and optimism of Tottenham.

So this summer will be spent refining and testing the menu, looking at a lot of spreadsheets, building a new kind of restaurant with our architects and long term collaborators Assemble, getting the branding right with the brilliant Peter and Paul – and building our team who will be ready to welcome everyone in September.

Please stay touch and up-to-date with all our developments via the dedicated Chicken Town website. We want and we need new partners, collaborators and friends so please drop us a line if you think you can help or if you want to know how things are going.

Thanks again – so very much – and see you soon.

Director, Create

Chicken Town – its not just about delicious chicken!

Thursday, 16 April 2015

upper_swaledale_walls copySwaledale – home of our herb fed chickens!

Chicken Town director Ben Rymer explains that the new social restaurant won’t just be about delicious chicken:

There has been a lot of exposure, and rightly so, of the food we plan to serve at Chicken Town.  As director of the project I thought now would be a good time to share all the other great things that we have planned.

The creation of jobs for local young people is a priority for us.  We believe in training local young people to a world-class standard in both kitchen skills for our young chefs and hospitality for our front of house staff.  These will be skills that they will be able to use for a wide variety of careers later in life as well as a means to support themselves if they choose to study further.  Chicken Town is not a training restaurant, we just believe that this should be a normal part of a well-run establishment.

We have a network of great partner restaurants who are just as excited about training and mentoring as we are. Polpo, Quo Vadis, The Cinnamon Club, Lardo and The Clove Club have all signed up to date.  They will be sending their chefs in to mentor our own and we will be looking to use Chicken Town as a gateway for young people to get jobs in some of London’s best restaurants.

Our overall ethos at Chicken Town is about getting young people to engage with food and to think about what they are eating, how it’s made and where it comes from.  As such we have already started planning an extensive outreach programme to reflect this. Local schools will play a larger part of this as we look to get kids in for cooking sessions in the restaurant.  We plan to support local community growing initiatives and even want to take kids for visits to see the farm where our chickens come from, Swaledale in Yorkshire, a beautiful part of the country.

Finally, as the environment is a key part of our values, we will always source as much local produce as possible. Chicken Town is planning on being a zero waste restaurant and there are even talks about doing some bee keeping on our roof.  So you see, even though chicken is at the heart of our business there are many more strings to our bow than just having a delicious dinner.

Please check out our Kickstarter page if you want to know more and support us with your pledge.

Ben Rymer
Director, Chicken Town

Chicken Town’s Brand Ambassador Nadine Davis speaks about growing up in Tottenham and what she believes the new social restaurant will bring to the area

Thursday, 02 April 2015

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I was so happy when I was offered the opportunity to be a part of Chicken Town, it’s not only a project that I believe in but I feel like the restaurant itself will bring even more to Tottenham.

I attended secondary school and grew up in Haringey and at that age fast food is a part of the lifestyle, it’s quick and doesn’t taste too bad, not to forget it’s cheap. My school dinner was healthy and hot, which wasn’t something we really cared about then. We were able to leave school for an hour during lunchtime, so you can say it was part of being social. Some kids are better informed about what’s good or bad but whether they can afford “healthy food” is the main problem. Their parents can cook good meals and advise them to eat better but what they do outside of their households can’t always be controlled. If kids understand food and what bad food can to do their bodies in the long run, they will care more about their diets. Chicken Town will put parents mind at ease, as it’s a place where they can eat their favourite meal and it will be filling and a way better option than a usual chicken shop.

Chicken Town is all about community and I feel the team behind the project really care. The jobs that will be created for local young people and the training opportunities they will receive are amazing.  I am Brand Ambassador at Chicken Town, which means I will be helping the project make links with the local community as well as managing the Chicken Town social media channels.

Chicken Town can really make a difference. As a mum I think it’s so important for businesses to care about the communities they are based in and how their business will affect local people. I hope that Chicken Town will do this and that it can be a good example for other businesses to follow.

You can really get a feel of what Chicken Town is about in the Kickstarter video and the young girls involved were more than happy to take part and talk with Director Ben Rymer about fried chicken and how it can be made in a healthier way. It’s been great speaking to local young people and seeing how they feel about healthy eating and Tottenham.

Nadine Davis
Brand Ambassador

Create announce Chicken Town – a game-changing new social restaurant in Tottenham

Thursday, 26 March 2015

We are excited to announce a groundbreaking new food and community project for 2015 that will tackle child obesity at its source. Chicken Town will be London’s first restaurant that offers an alternative to the ubiquitous London chicken shop, of which there are now over 8,000. Opening in Tottenham this September, it will serve better quality chicken meals to young people in the daytime at the same price as local chicken shops, and will operate as a neighbourhood restaurant in the evening. All profits raised in the evenings will be used to fund the daytime meals for local young people and the project will deliver a range of outreach community initiatives aimed at encouraging young people to think about what they eat and to make positive changes.

In Tottenham, almost 40% of 11 year olds are classified as obese. Within a mile of the new restaurant there are over 30 fast food outlets offering cheap, calorific food and for many young people it is a regular part of their diet. Chicken Town will provide young people with a much healthier way of enjoying fast food and will encourage them to think about the origins of what they are eating. The restaurant will also give local young people the opportunity to gain jobs, training, mentoring and NVQ level qualifications through work placements with leading restaurants and chefs across the city who are partnering with us on the project.

Executive Chef Giorgio Ravelli, whose previous experience includes Upstairs at the Ten Bells and The Ledbury, is working with leading nutritionists to design a menu consisting of healthy, delicious and affordable alternatives to the high in salt, sugar and fat fried chicken meals so popular amongst young people. Chicken Town will serve herb fed free range chicken which will be steamed prior to flash frying, with sides such as roast corn, greens, coleslaw, coconut rice and sweet potato fries. Using higher quality oils, minimising frying times, lowering sodium levels, and having a farm-to-table ethos will help to provide a much tastier and healthier product, whilst fewer harmful fats, less sugar and more vegetables will be used in the restaurant.

We have secured the initial funding to build the restaurant and we are now seeking the remaining funding needed to purchase specialist restaurant equipment to help us produce healthy fast food via our first Kickstarter campaign. In exchange for your support we have a range of brilliant rewards including nights out at the new restaurant, recipe cards for children, limited edition Just Jam Chicken Town t-shirts, VIP tables at our opening night and free chicken for life.

Visit our Kickstarter page for full details. With a little help, Chicken Town can serve up tastier, healthier, happier fried chicken and help change the tide towards positive choices for young people in London.

Chicken Town is supported by Haringey Council and the Mayor of London’s High Street Fund.

A year in the making…..

Monday, 09 February 2015

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Blackhorse Workshop’s Creative Director Harriet Warden looks back on a successful first year of operation:

Blackhorse Workshop celebrated its first birthday this weekend in spectacular fiery fashion. It’s been amazing to take stock a year on to see how far we have come in such a short space of time. Last December we arrived at the new building – transformed thanks to the vision of Assemble – with just ourselves rattling around. Kitted out with a wide range of wood and metalworking machines the space has rapidly transformed into a fantastic community of makers, supporting local residents alongside emerging design talent from across London – by providing technical expertise from basic skills through to high-end fabrication advice.

Tucked away in an industrial unit in Blackhorse Lane, Walthamstow, the workshop has quickly established itself as a new kind of public space. The idea of an open access workshop in London didn’t really exist previously, and although there were workshops geared towards professionals, there was little to support anyone simply wanting to do some basic DIY, build some shelves or learn the basics.  What’s exciting about Blackhorse Workshop is that it’s become a place that supports both ends of the skill spectrum.

The Workshop now has more than 150 members, and provides space for over 20 new creative enterprises. It’s addressing the major issue that makers face after leaving college of having no access to the space and equipment needed to continue working. With our growing computer dependent lifestyle, the Workshop is providing a vital outlet for anyone keen to escape the keyboard grind. It’s been great to see so many thriving startups who simply wouldn’t have been able to venture out on their own without the Workshop. There’s been some incredible things built over the last year – a wooden bike frame (now to be seen pedaled around the streets of London), a steel smokery for specialty Dutch sausages, a giant stunt mattress for a film shoot, hand forged kitchen knives, giant pencil lamps, festival signage, cigar box guitars, theatre sets and hog roasts, not to mention solving many a DIY conundrum, and even building a religious shrine!

So the best moment for me so far? Perhaps it was the sight of over 500 people watching our giant mechanical burning skeleton in celebration of bonfire night, or seeing one of our members with no prior making experience proudly showing off her new set of shelves, or seeing a metalworking chef transform his horsebox into a fully operational street food business…there have been so many golden moments over the last twelve months.

So where to next? There’s already an exciting year starting to unfold. From next month we’ll be expanding our top floor studios to accommodate more makers starting out, developing a new building to support a programme for kids and young people, and there’s new partnerships in the pipeline with the V&A and TENT London. One thing’s for certain – there’s a making revolution happening in this city, and Blackhorse Workshop has become one of its major players.

Harriet Warden

Blackhorse Workshop is open Monday – Saturday, 9.30 – 5.30pm. Visit the Workshop’s dedicated website for more information including how to join as a casual or professional member.

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Images: Blackhorse Workshop’s first birthday celebrations. Images courtesy of Julia Jevzikova. 

This Used to be Fields: the making of the Becontree Estate mural

Monday, 02 February 2015

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Following the launch of artist Chad McCail’s first ever mural last summer, we are delighted to present a new short film capturing the making of the artwork on the Becontree Estate.

Delivered as part of our This Used to be Fields project, the work presents a history of the Becontree Estate informed by McCail’s many conversations with local people.

Local filmmaker Jaha Browne was commissioned to capture the process, visiting McCail and the volunteers who helped make the work, throughout the research and painting phase of the project and collecting footage at the mural’s launch celebration in October 2014.

The film features interviewer Matt Benjamin, a local graduate with extensive knowledge on the Becontree Estate, and volunteer artist Biniam Ghide who, following his work on the project, is now artist-in-residence at Barking Learning Centre.

Watch the full film below:

The mural is available to view at Valence House Museum, Archives and Local Studies Centre. Admission is free and opening hours are Monday to Saturday 10am to 4pm (except public holidays).

Healthy Fast Food pitch launches in Hackney

Thursday, 27 November 2014


We are delighted to announce the launch of the third pitch as part of our Healthy Fast Food project, delivered in partnership with social enterprise Shift. Family run catering company Riojaes Cuisine will now be serving delicious Caribbean street food outside Mecca Bingo on Hackney Road every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday until April 2015. A special discounted rate of £2.50 per meal is available for young people and students.

This autumn London was named the international child obesity capital by the Independent London Health Commission. There are over 8,000 fast food outlets in London alone and few of these offer healthy options but their relative affordability, their convenience and their frequent positioning near schools means that they are very popular among young people.

Following on from our successful Box Chicken pilot in 2013 this major new trial period is setting up a number of mobile food vendors across the London boroughs of Camden, Hackney, Tower Hamlets and Newham to provide healthy meal options to children and young people in low-income areas.

All of our vendors will be positioned up to 500m from a secondary school and the trial will seek to establish which foods and vending styles appeal most to a young clientele so that a sustainable model can be set in place for the future.

The opening of the Hackney pitch follows the launch of south Indian street food vendor Papi’s Pickles on Chalton Street in Camden and Caribbean street food vendor Soul Food Rocks on Estate Road, Tower Hamlets.

It is hoped that the project will be rolled out across the UK in the future, to provide a long-term nationwide solution to the problems of child obesity and convenience eating.



Create commission short film to be screened at Marvin Gaye Chetwynd’s new soft play centre

Monday, 17 November 2014


Last week pupils of Gascoigne Primary School worked with Turner Prize-nominated artist Marvin Gaye Chetwynd to produce a short film, which will be screened in the foyer of the new Abbey Leisure Centre in Barking and Dagenham.

In June 2014 Create commissioned Chetwynd to conceive a groundbreaking new 21,000m3 soft play centre as part of the facility. This major new permanent work will engage up to 700,000 young children and families from across east London in its first ten years and will test the possibilities for bringing art into the spaces of people’s daily lives.

The group of children took part in a series of workshops over two days, devised and delivered by artist Rebecca Davies, including designing and making their own imaginary soft play centre out of plasticine. The two days closed with the group interviewing Chetwynd about being an artist and her approach to making the new soft play area.

The film will be on permanent display in the Centre, which is due to open in March 2015, and will address questions about what artists do and what art can be in a fun and accessible way.

Soft Play is delivered in partnership with Barking and Dagenham Council with support from the Arts Council of England.




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The winner of our charity raffle is announced

Friday, 31 October 2014

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We are happy to announce that Saskia Smith is the winner of our charity raffle and the proud new owner of Children’s Story, a signed and annotated special edition print by artist Marcus Coates currently worth £400.

Coates generously donated the print to us so that we could raise charitable funds for our work with east London communities. The new artwork, an illustration from his publication UR… A Practical Guide to Unconscious Reasoning, was part of a raffle made possible by the Multiplied Art Fair hosted by Christie’s South Kensington this month.

With thanks to Christie’s and a special thank you to everyone who purchased a raffle ticket. All proceeds raised will be put towards our charitable activities supporting and developing young people and emerging artists.

Chad McCail’s new mural opens at Valence House

Tuesday, 28 October 2014


After a summer of working in collaboration with residents of Barking & Dagenham, we are pleased to announce that artist Chad McCail has now completed his new mural for the Becontree Estate. To mark the occasion we hosted a free family friendly celebration day at Valence House, the location of the mural on Saturday 25 October 2014.

Through the new artwork McCail has represented a multi-layered history of the Becontree Estate informed by his many conversations with local people, many of which took place in the studio he set up at Valence House. McCail painted the mural during October 2014 with the vital assistance of a group of local volunteers, some of whom kindly gave scores of hours to the project.

The internal structure of the work is a winding Becontree street, painted in McCail’s flat, graphic technique. In the foreground he represents the changing minutiae of day to day life for example the first inhabitants with the clear signs of the ravages of poverty and WW1, the arrival of Ford Motors followed by it’s rapid departure, the impact of Right to Buy in the 1980’s had on the frontages of houses and significant cultural and political events such as Gandhi’s visit to Kingsley Hall. Also included in the mural are the personal stories of early and current residents of the estate, as well as depictions of local people McCail has met throughout his time in the borough.

Admission to Valence House Museum, Archives and Local Studies Centre is free and opening hours are Monday to Saturday 10am to 4pm (except public holidays). Full address and travel advice can be found here.

This new work of public art is part of our This Used to be Fields project, a new digital archive of photos and stories from people of the Becontree Estate. Visit the Historypin website to explore the archive and find out how to share and contribute your memories of the area.

This Used to be Fields is a collaborative project delivered by Historypin and Create. The project has been commissioned by the Barbican, with funding from the Arts Council of England and additional support from Creative Barking and Dagenham.

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St Ethelburga’s Hallowtide Fair

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

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For three nights only, immersive theatre company Punchdrunk will transform Eastbury Manor House into a fun and festive Hallowtide Fair. From 31 October – 2 November the event will resurrect the infamous St Ethelburga’s Fair that visited Barking annually in the nineteenth century but has long been forgotten.

With traditional games, local stalls and festive music, the fair will captivate and entertain. Visitors who delve a little deeper will be rewarded; dicovering hidden stories, mysteries and unexpected surprises within the historic manor house.

Assisting Punchdrunk with the production of the event will be a group of young east Londoners who are taking part in our Creativity Works: Eastbury Manor employability programme. The programme aims to enable the young people to break into the creative industries by providing them with invaluable first hand work experience, as well as mentoring, practical workshops and site visits.

We are also pleased to announce that our Company: Movements, Deal and Drinks project will be running the bar at the fair. The Create Art Award winning project, which aims to establish a self-sustaining community drinks enterprise in Barking and Dagenham, will serve its newly launched range of handpicked drinks.

The allocation of tickets for people living outside Barking and Dagenham has now sold out, but local residents can purchase discounted tickets here.

Create announced as the official charity partner of Multiplied Art Fair 2014

Thursday, 02 October 2014

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We are delighted to announce that Create are the official Charity Partner for this year’s Multiplied Art Fair.

Multiplied is the UK’s only fair devoted to contemporary art in editions. Hosted annually by Christie’s South Kensington it takes place during Frieze week and offers a rich programme of talks and workshops. The fair encompasses print, digital art and multiples, artist’s books and photographs, reflecting the whole spectrum of contemporary publishing, from established galleries representing high profile artists to start-up spaces and artists’ collectives.

As charity partner we will be hosting a stall at the Fair from 17-20 October where we will be raffling Children’s Story, a signed and annotated limited edition print by artist Marcus Coates.

Coates was awarded the 2013 Create Art Award to develop School of the Imagination. The project took the form of a course exploring the imagination as a tool for helping others. Through a programme of workshops, participants from across east London came together to learn techniques gleaned from ritual, theatre, therapeutic and pedagogical methodologies.

Children’s Story is an illustration from Coates’ new publication UR…. A Practical Guide to Unconscious Reasoning, which aims to share the techniques explored through the project.

Raffle tickets are £10 and can be purchased from the Create stand at Multiplied from our online shop. All proceeds will benefit our charitable activities in east London.

Make sure to also keep an eye on our Twitter feed for details on how you can also win a pair of VIP preview passes for the fair.

Image: Children’s Story  by Marcus Coates

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Create Summer Party 2014

Thursday, 18 September 2014


We were delighted with the success of our summer party, which took place on Tuesday 16 September 2014. The annual event saw over 300 guests join us at the Rose Lipman Building, the creative hub and former Hackney Archives and Library in De Beauvoir Town, and offered us the opportunity to showcase our work, thank our partners and provide a platform for the people that make what we do possible.

Our Chairman John Studzinski CBE and Director Hadrian Garrard welcomed guests to the event and invited them to take part in a range of activities across the building. John Studzinski spoke passionately about the importance of our work, in bringing about social change and stimulating urban renewal, and urged all give their support so that our ambitious work can continue.

Open School East‘s Parallel Radio broadcast live interviews with artists and participants from our previous, current and forthcoming projects across the building’s main hall, while associate artist Yemi Awosile presented a textile and sound installation in the school’s Tin Tin Room.

Young people from our Creativity Works: Fashion employability programme worked alongside photographers Tim and Barry and T-shirt Party to design and print exclusive T-shirts for guests; Blackhorse Workshop set up their work bench and invited guests to make their own candle holders; and Slash Stroke Magazine, one of the Rose Lipman Building’s tenants, took fashion portraits of guests wearing 2-D shapes inspired by the building.

Our Company: Movements, Deals and Drinks project, lead by led by artist group Myvillages, provided tasters of their new soft drink range made by residents of Barking and Dagenham, which will launch in October at Frieze Art Fair and Hackney favourite Voodoo Ray’s served guests a selection of their delicious pizzas.

The night also celebrated the launch of Marcus Coate’s new book UR…. A Practical Guide to Unconscious Reasoning, which has been co-published by Create and Book Works. Coates was awarded the 2013 Create Art Award to develop School of the Imagination, a summer school which explored the imagination as a tool for helping others. This new publication aims to share the techniques explored during the project to a wider audience.




Living Walls launches in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

Tuesday, 09 September 2014


We are delighted to announce the launch of Living Walls, our new art project for the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park stretching over two kilometres.

Delivered in partnership with Moniker Projects and funded by the London Legacy Development Corporation, Living Walls sees five new commissions across the park featuring 40 new artworks.

Your Ad Here offered 35 independent local businesses the opportunity to have an bespoke outdoor advertisement created by artists with a connection to east London including David Bachelor, Jeremy Deller and Ruth Ewan.

The project is a celebration of the local independent businesses that are such an integral part of east London’s community and economy, but that wouldn’t normally have the resources for large-scale billboard advertising. Local butchers, bakers, corner shops and hairdressers were connected to the diverse community of artists in east London to create partnerships that we hope will continue to thrive, improving community relationships and opportunities for growth across both the business and creative sectors.

Download the Living Walls digital map here to visit the artworks for yourself.





Images: Joe Plommer



Turner Prize-nominated artist Marvin Gaye Chetwynd commissioned to create a new children’s soft play space

Tuesday, 05 August 2014


We are pleased to announce that we have commissioned artist Marvin Gaye Chetwynd (b. 1973, London) to conceive a new 21,000m3 soft play centre and café as part of the development of the new Abbey Leisure Centre in Barking and Dagenham, the London borough with the highest number of children under five years old.

Marvin Gaye Chetwynd (previously known as Spartacus Chetwynd) is a British artist whose practice includes performance, sculpture, painting and video. Her performances draw on the traditions of folk plays, carnivals and street spectacles, encompassing both classical references and popular culture. They feature handmade props, costumes and scenery, which often constitute sculptures and installations in their own right. Chetwynd’s work sees her blend folk traditions with sci-fi, 1960s ‘happenings’ and contemporary moral issues. She has previously addressed subjects as diverse as John Milton, Dante, The Addams Family and Star Wars.

The soft play centre will be a significant new sculptural work but one that children and their parents can enter inside and climb over. Chetwynd will work within the vernacular of traditional soft play whilst pushing the possibilities of how its structures and narratives can challenge and inspire the growing minds of children.

This major new permanent work of art will engage over 700,000 young children and families from across east London in its first ten years.

The Soft Play project is one of several in Barking and Dagenham currently being delivered by Create in partnership with Barking and Dagenham Council, including This Used to Be Fields and Company: Movements, Deals and Drinks. Together these three projects form part of an initiative to develop dynamic, intelligent, and challenging cultural projects in one of the most deprived boroughs in London.

Soft Play is delivered in partnership with Barking and Dagenham Council with support from the Arts Council of England.

Chad McCail selected as mural artist for the This Used to be Fields project

Thursday, 17 July 2014


We are delighted to announce that Lanarkshire-based artist Chad McCail has been commissioned to produce a mural on the Becontree Estate as part of the This Used to be Fields project.

McCail is known for figurative paintings that use the vernacular of cartoons and instruction manuals to make playful but subversive observations about everyday life. Figures are engaged in generic activities in works that frequently make bold assertions about public and private life. This commission will see McCail diverge from his usual artistic practices as he creates a mural through conversation and collaboration with people in Barking and Dagenham.

Murals have long constituted articulations of political comment and public protest. Extensive mural making began in London in the 1970s, when numerous works of public art were commissioned by the Greater London Council. Murals were created by artists who wished to work outside of commercial galleries to make art that was more directly relevant to local communities. Artists of the London Mural Movement opted to work alongside communities to make work that chimed with local issues. Murals in the 1970s and 1980s often examined specific local concerns, such as the impact of property development, or they depicted historic moments that had broader political significance to the area, as is the case with the Poplar Rates Rebellion Mural (1985) and The Battle of Cable Street (1983).

Mural production has waned in recent decades, a phenomenon that is in part due to a resistance to public art as it has come to be seen as prescriptive, compromising on either artistic integrity or community relevance. This commission aims to reclaim the mural and in doing so return public art to the fore, creating tangible links between artists and communities.

On August 16 and 23, 10am – 4pm, Chad McCail will be opening his Valence House studio to the public. Visit him to share your stories about the Becontree Estate, show him your photos and learn more about his ideas for the mural.

Address: Valence House Visitors Centre, Beacontree Avenue, London, RM8 3HT

Image: people share things in common, (2014), detail. Courtesy Chad McCail.

This Used to be Fields is a new collaborative project by Create, Historypin and the Barbican that aims to explore the history of the Becontree Estate, a pioneering development in the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, through the creation of a communal digital archive and a new work of public art.

The project has been commissioned by the Barbican with funding from the Arts Council of England and additional support from Creative Barking and Dagenham.


One of our Creativity Works: Fashion participants, Shanté Stephens, shares her Paris experience with us

Wednesday, 16 July 2014


Last Wednesday saw me and my cohort on the Creativity Works: Fashion course head to Paris for the day, to watch the Jean-Paul Gaultier Haute Couture fashion show. It was a very exciting trip as we travelled on the Eurostar and also got to meet Jean Charles de Castelbajac at his studio. This was a once in a life time opportunity, as we were given a tour of his archive closet and he spoke to us about his story and pursuing our goals. He mentioned that we must find our style – from what colours; stitching; shape and materials we want to predominately use in our pieces, and to make it our signature. One key note he mentioned was that we must be proud of our differences. This is very important as we are all striving to be the best in various careers, we must find what makes us unique and enhance it.

The main event of the day started late, typically. But as we had time before the fashion show started, we took this opportunity to mingle with people and network. There were all kinds of people in the audience- models; actors; and bloggers galore. I thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere.

As the show began, the lights went dim, and then what happened next was twenty-five minutes of pure amazement. We were all in awe of every new outfit that came out, as they were all practically perfect. Jean-Paul Gaultier’s theme this year was vampires and this was evident in the show-from the hair, to the colours, to the theme to music, I was given the sense of fashionable vampires through it all. Fabulous.

That wasn’t all though. After the show, we were given the opportunity to meet him, which was an exclusive opportunity. Though it was brief, we were able to get pictures with him and talk briefly. I even gave him one of my business cards! Let’s hope he checks out my blog.

All in all, I had a fantastic day as I not only did I meet, Jean Charles de Castelbajac and Jean Paul Gaultier but also Anna Wintour. My mind was well and truly blown.

I would like to thank everyone who made this opportunity possible. This course thus far has taught me a lot about the fashion industry, the many avenues in it and most importantly, perseverance.

Shanté Stephens.

Check out my blog here:




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Our Creativity Works: Fashion group go to Paris

Friday, 11 July 2014

This week our Creativity Works: Fashion participants headed to Paris to meet Jean Paul Gaultier himself after attending his Paris Fashion Week couture show. One of the participants Shanté Stephens will be writing a blog on the trip shortly but to wet your appetite here are a few pictures of the day.



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Create announced as an Arts Council NPO

Tuesday, 01 July 2014



Ruth Ewan, Liberties of the Savoy, 2012.

We are delighted that Create has been announced as a national portfolio of arts organisation for the Arts Council England. 

Hadrian Garrard, Director, Create has released the following statement:

“We are delighted to have achieved NPO status, our first long term Arts Council funding. It’s now becoming broadly accepted that publicly funded arts organisations need to do more to reach and involve people from all backgrounds. We see ourselves as emerging leaders in how to do this with ambition, rigour and flair and this is a great acknowledgment of that from the Arts Council.

The funding will allow us to deliver increasingly ambitious and longer term projects which will involve communities in east London and in other cities across the UK. We’re thrilled that the Arts Council have chosen to acknowledge our track record of bringing challenging new art to people from all backgrounds.

This is a moment for us to reflect on our achievements of the past four years which have included persuading the BBC to bring artists including Rihanna and Jay Z to the Hackney Marshes as part of Radio 1’s Hackney Weekend which coincided with the 2012 Olympics and working with Frieze Projects to curate a series of works around the East End. We’ve reached and involved thousands of people in east London and we are proud that we are now being supported to continue this work.

London is an international centre for art and creativity but there are still huge numbers of people living here who aren’t benefiting from these opportunities. Create exists to understand how artists can contribute more meaningfully towards the lives of those of us who live in cities and we do this through ambitious live projects which take place outside of traditional cultural spaces. In 2014 we will be commissioning a major UK artist to design a new soft play centre in Barking; supporting an artist to set-up a new drinks making company owned and run by people in east London and turning two abandoned library buildings into public-facing art centres.

We will continue to work with a host of partner organisations including Chisenhale Gallery, the Barbican, Frieze and local authorities to reach new diverse audiences. This support from the Arts Council will help us work across the sector to better connect with communities.

London is changing fast and in many ways is becoming a more socially divided city. Artists are uniquely placed to understand and challenge these divisions. Our NPO status reflects and acknowledges the need for artists and cultural institutions to stay more closely connected to people of all backgrounds and we’re excited about possibilities for the future.”

Two weeks until the launch of Ram Place Fashion Market

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

20140620_154241 copy The Creativity Works: Fashion participants modelling their t-shirts

It’s now only two weeks to go until the launch of Ram Place Fashion Market in the heart of Hackney, just off Morning Lane. Inspired by the Barbican exhibition The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk, the project brings a street market to Ram Place and a pop-up café-bar and event space located in the adjacent derelict building which is being transformed by artist commissions as we speak!

The market stall holders are a mix of local emergent and celebrated designers including Jelka Quintelier, Arlette, Kelly Shaw and Meihui Liu alongside highly skilled craftspeople such as Sebastian Tarek, Sahar Freemantle and Queenie and Ted who will be giving demonstrations of their work. The event space will host a programme of performances, talks and workshops with artists, photographers and fashion industry professionals including designer James Long, film-maker Kathryn Ferguson, and performance artist The Divine David.

Evening events will include talks, discussions, live music and performance. Opening the market on Saturday 12 July, Lyall Hakaraia, fashion designer, stylist and promoter of east London’s disco basement Vogue Fabrics, will create VOGUE GOES ROGUE a procession of fashion totems, from the Barbican Centre to Ram Place, decorated by some of London’s leading designers including Craig Lawrence, Louize Harries and Laura Shepherd. Specially commissioned performance events also include a participative Lego dress promenade by designer Anne- Sophie Cochevelou and Camoufleur, a recreation of one of Jean Paul Gaultier’s haute couture pieces in moss and living plants by The Vivisector.

Hackney’s own Railroad cafe will run the onsite kitchen, serving up delicious BBQ fare and sumptuous salad boxes, cakes and cordials each day, while Mare Street favourite Rita’s will provide cooling cocktails into the evening.

Plus our Creativity Works: Fashion students will be selling t-shirts they designed and made with legendary photographers Tim & Barry and T-shirt Party, from a dedicated stall. Make sure to stop by and say hello!

Keep on eye on our website for further event details to be announced shortly.

Evening events entry is on a first come first served basis.


Our New Identity

Thursday, 05 June 2014


We are delighted to present our new visual identity designed by London based graphic design studio Kellenberger-White.

The practice devised a design responding to the spirit and working methods at Create.

The new logo takes its inspiration from ‘Making Air Visible’ – a quirky educational experiment for teaching children about their surroundings invented by Italian artist and designer Bruno Munari, which involves observing the transformations of paper flying through the air.

The logo’s form is an animated typographic arrangement based on a thin strip of paper (measuring 30 x 300 mm) spinning in the air – optically forming a ‘C’ shape.


Kellenberger-White used this experiment as starting point for the design of the visual identity, because it’s both fun (try it!) and a
meaningful metaphor for Create’s work – the movement and journey of the spinning paper is formed through its relationship to its surroundings and context.