Tunnel Vision: the first ever public art happening in Hackney Downs Park. Photo: Angus Leadley Brown

For the next ten days, Hackney residents can visit the first ever public art happening in Hackney Downs Park. The deserted Bowling Green at the centre of the Downs has been taken over by Polish artist Eva Lis and her team of migrant, homeless workers.

The artist commissioned and paid the men to build her installation ‘Tunnel Vision’, but they have taken the project to their hearts and have had significant creative input.

“We usually work on building sites from architects’ plans, but this labyrinth was more of a challenge and a lot of fun, we have never before been paid to do such an enjoyable and fulfilling job – our opinions and creativity were valued. If we had more time and space we would love to make this even bigger, to tell our stories and to be considered as architects or artists ourselves,” said one of the workers.

The artist said she was overwhelmed by the commitment and passion they showed, and that she would have liked to have done more:”We applied to Hackney Council for funding, but were not given any financial support at all. With more money we could have done more to integrate the migrants’ stories and experiences as well as work with local community groups, but as it is we were not even able to cover the cost of all the materials.”

Tunnel Vision is a  journey through the meandering maze of both the artist’s mind and the minds of her assistants. The use of the abandoned Bowling Green makes a poignant comment on the underuse of this ‘Green Flag’ park, and the crude physical construction of the tunnels themselves becomes a symbol of the workers’ social status and questions our own metaphorical ‘tunnel vision’ around issues of exploitation, social structure and social values.

Eva Lis / Tunnel Vision
The Bowling Green, Hackney Downs Park
Opposite WW Gallery at 30 Queensdown Road E5 8NN
Until 19 September 2010
Open daily 12-6pm

For more information, contact WW Gallery.

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