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Creative-led Unit 5 Gallery opens in Hackney

PUBLISHED: 17:48 31 October 2016

Dont Fret x Edwin at Unit 5 Gallery

Dont Fret x Edwin at Unit 5 Gallery

Archant

If anyone is going to react to the threat of unwanted gentrification, it’s artists – and street artists more than anyone.

Unit 5 Gallery, which opened in August, is a creative-led gallery set to champion street artists and local talent.

Dont Fret x Edwin at Unit 5 GalleryDont Fret x Edwin at Unit 5 Gallery

Art is a difficult industry to enter in to, especially if you’re not a Mayfair art dealer. Even more so if you’re from Hackney, with the proposed demolition of Hackney Wick’s Vittoria Wharf looming.

“The art scene in Hackney is struggling to be honest,” says Gary Means, owner of new Unit 5 Gallery in Yorkton Street. “Rising rents, insensitive development and lack of funding means that the creative people who made this area what it is are being forced out.”

But if anyone is going to react to the threat of unwanted gentrification, it’s artists – and street artists more than anyone.

Unit 5 Gallery, which opened in August, is a creative-led gallery set to champion street artists and local talent. Currently running an exhibition by Parisian artist Bault called Tar, which is his debut show in the UK. The surrealist painter and street artist is well known in his native France but is less so here.

Bault, Herbarium - Tar at Unit 5 GalleryBault, Herbarium - Tar at Unit 5 Gallery

“We aim to run a gallery that represents the artists we love and build a reputation for showing quality works and bringing through local talent,” Means adds.

One of these local artists is Londoner Edwin, who has teamed up with American Dont Fret for the gallery’s next exhibition and social experiment. Entitled The Distinct Sound of Laughter in the Distance, the show is the culmination of a pen pal relationship that continued between the two artists over the course of a year, as they exchanged the evidence of the marks they made on their communities (pictured).

“The project aims to discuss and bridge the personal social and political dialogues voiced not only on walls by the artists, but by the larger population of people in cities on both sides of the Atlantic.”

Tar is on until November 3, and The Distinct Sound of Laughter in the Distance is from November 11 to December 2 at Unit 5 Gallery, The Yard, Yorkton Street, E2 8NH. unit5gallery.co.uk

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