A series of vibrant projections, lighting, sound and video installations celebrating the hidden history of Hackney
Electric Bloom has been one of the most engaging and creative projects Hackney town centre has seen for a long time, with key historic sites and local community groups involved over several months, with fun and educational showcase events along the way. It has, without doubt, added value to the regeneration work of the council and I hope to have the opportunity to work with SDNA again. Thank you so much for bringing this project to Hackney Central and working so hard to make it such a success. Anne Malcolm: Town Centre Manager, Hackney Central
SDNA were the artistic leads of Hackney Electric Bloom – a public art and heritage project commissioned by London Borough of Hackney and supported by Arts Council England, Heritage Lottery Fund and PRS Music Foundation. The project explored Hackney’s historic links with the textile industry and the exotic gardens and hothouses created by the Loddiges family in the 19th century, and invited residents to express their thoughts on Hackney’s contemporary regeneration and development. Over 500 residents of all ages and backgrounds participated in a programme of visual art, animation, filmmaking, garden design, music, spoken word and textile workshops, and created artworks in response to Hackney’s fascinating heritage. These artworks were exhibited at one of Hackney’s oldest historical sites – Sutton House – and inspired a series of vibrant, colourful and interactive permanent and temporary installations, projected onto popular historical sites including St John’s at Hackney Church, St Augustine’s Tower and Churchwell Path. An Electric Bloom app was also created, narrated by Hackney residents, taking visitors on an immersive and ambient sound-walk around Hackney Central.
The project culminated in the Electric Bloom Finale, held to launch the installations and celebrate the rich heritage and contemporary diversity of Hackney. The evening included a celebration of the tropical through a programme of carnival music and dance, and the premiere of Electric Bloom – an original composition created especially for the project by virtuoso Hackney-born musicians Orphy Robinson and Rowland Sutherland.
Electric Bloom attracted just under 1 million visitors – you can still visit the installation on Churchwell Path and download the Electric Bloom app.
The Electric Bloom Project introduced me to parts of the borough that I had previously overlooked. It brings art and history into the public space, and so directly to the people of the community which makes it possible for all generations to appreciate and enjoy.
Elam Forester, Hackney resident
SDNA collaborated with Creative Producer Clare Moloney and the following artists to deliver the project: Anna Glover, Annie Goliath, Adolfo Harrison, AJ
Kwame, Barley Massey, Bryan Poole, Joel Cahen, Noel Basualdo, Orphy Robinson, PolarBear, Raymond Atrobus, Rowland Sutherland, Rozi Peters, Tropical Isles and Zsolt Balogh.