Hackney Council’s Pride 365 festival will leave the borough with a symbol of lasting LGBTQI+ solidarity, as local street art favourite Stik has begun work on a new statue for his native Hoxton’s main square.
The four-metre piece, entitled Holding Hands, echoes the many stick figures, of Stik’s creation, that loom large on walls and buildings from Hackney Wick to Haggerston (as well as in Manhattan, across Japan and other global spots).
The intimacy of the two featureless figures, who’ll stand tall in the shade of Hoxton Square, “symbolizes the love expressed between two people regardless of gender, sexuality, religion or ethnicity” according to the council’s announcement.
Planning permission came through on Friday 2 March, and since then Stik has teamed up with Shoreditch-based fabricators Sculpture Factory to start bringing the self-funded piece to life.
Speaking to the Citizen, Stik said: “Hoxton is extremely important to me as an art hub.
“Hoxton Square in particular is extremely important socially and culturally and this sculpture represents the love and respect between people in our diverse and cultured neighbourhood.”
Reacting to the news, Mayor Glanville expressed how “lucky” Hackney was to be gifted such a piece, and Cllr Feryal Demirci, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, Transport and Parks, reflected on its meaning: “It’s really exciting that one of Hackney’s parks can play host to such an internationally renowned artist.
“The fact that the scale of the statue allows the viewer to hold hands with it, is a great metaphor for Hackney’s openness, and the borough as a welcoming place for all.”
Stik has lived and worked in Hackney since the year 2000, and in recent years has used his art and platform to raise money for local rough-sleeping services, as well as LGBTQI+ youth group Project Indigo – in the latter case, by auctioning the 2016 Hackney Pride banner on which this new statue is based.
The Council’s Parks team is working with Stik on an installation date, which will be announced in the coming months.
For more information about Hackney Pride 365, visit the Facebook page: www.facebook.com/HackneyPride365.