Keep me posted

The trend for converting abandoned buildings into gallery spaces and pop-up shops has been gathering pace since the recession first hit. Brixton’s Village Market has been hosting a weekly rotating installation space since the beginning of the year, as have a number of empty premises in Bristol’s Broadmead shopping district.

London’s Hackney Council last week launched a series of projects to further support  bringing empty shops back in to use as art galleries and community spaces. The first to open is Posted, an exhibition at a former Hackney post office which boasts a number of high profile names such as YBA favourites Tracey Emin and Angus Fairhurst.

In keeping with the show’s setting, the artists involved were asked to respond to the theme post. For artist James White this resulted in a painting of a crumpled electricity bill – perhaps the worst post you can recieve, whereas Emin has created a special stationery set for the exhibition, which will be available to buy throughout the exhibition.

Hackney resident Lena Barden and Councillor Guy Nicholson
Hackney resident Lena Barden and Councillor Guy Nicholson

A number of other council projects, including a farm shop in Dalston, are in the pipeline for later on this year, all supported by central Government funding to bring empty town premises back to life. Perhaps there is an upside to the recession, even if it’s only small.

Keep me posted runs until 26 September at 67 Wilton Way, London E8.

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  • Hackney Council Scrutiny Team November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    One of Hackney Council’s Overview & Scrutiny Committees is due to consider the local approach to bringing empty shops back into use, including through projects such as these. This is likely to start in early 2011, and any submissions or suggestions should be sent to

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