We met Bella and Richard in 2011 during a residency in Hackney Wick. We knocked on their door with no expectations of who would open. The people who opened their door proved to be the oldest residents of the neighbourhood. We asked them whether they would walk with us, embodying a particular pattern.
From this day, we continued visiting the little house in the Wick, having extended conversations about architecture, their changing environment, the past, the future, chickens and the role of the artist in society. We shared many hours of conversation over tea and biscuits, viewing Richard’s wonderful collection of photographic slides documenting previous demolitions and communities in the area. This forming connections with current processes of regeneration.
Bella told us countless stories of her growing up in the area. Lill the fish and chips (try before you buy, “she always gave you two while in the queue”), Larvis wet fish across the road, Peggy Barnes, Darl Bell’s shoes and stockings, Nigel the baker, bundles of wood, three post offices and two butchers, “we were sustainable.”
Bella and Richard have become dear friends and colleagues. We visit them often with new projects, thoughts, objects and performances for them to critique and comment on. Throughout this process of getting to know Bella and Richard, we ask ourselves
how can we create an interchange of knowledge across generations?
How do we meet as people?
How can we all be involved together?
Works together include
Land and Sea 2013