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Hackney Studios: East London creatives and their spaces by Jenny Lewis 

Hoxton Mini Press 

Reviewed by Jessica Cargill Thompson

Hackney boasts more artists than any other part of the city, with Hackney Wick reputed to be the largest artists' community in Europe. But street art and craft markets aside, much of the activity takes place behind closed doors. This photo essay explores the challenges of working alone, and the need to feel connected to other human beings, but it is also a trail along the network of relationships across this creative hub, with each subject recommending the next. Photographer Jenny Lewis, who has lived in the area for more than 20 years, leads us on a highly personal tour, meeting animators, costume designers, sculptors, screenprinters, performance artists, musicians, and more. (Pictured on the cover is props and accessories designer Rosy Nichols who makes 'things that sparkle'.) The book has added poignancy, wondering how much longer East London's artists and makers will be able to stay. (This review originally appeared in edition 471 of the Journal of the London Society)