Friday, 15 May 2009

The Dalston Mill

A planning application has been submitted to erect a temporary metallic structure at 13 Dalston Lane to the rear of the Peace Mural square, for use over the summer as a community art centre, garden, workshops and a pizza oven (yummy!). You can view the application and images (reference 2009/0965) here. The sponsorship is from the Barbican Art Gallery as part of the Radical Nature festival.

The publicity states "EXYZT have been working closely with various local communities to turn a disused site in Dalston into a vibrant rural retreat for the people of the area and beyond. Literally occupying an abandoned garden, the project offers an exciting programme of events, screening and summer feasts."

Actually the site is literally an abandoned railway line (the Dalston Junction Eastern Curve) recently filled in with hardcore and gravel for car parking use.

Not all of EXYZT previous 'community art installations' have met with universal approval - as you will see from some of the comments here.


  1. Looks like rich kids amusing themselves. Please don't support it

  2. looks like a great project and fun for everyone involved or just passing by

  3. The latest review of the Barbican Gallery 'Radical Nature' exhbition says: " Agnes Denes’s 1982 Wheatfield — a Confrontation, planted among Manhattan’s skyscrapers, is recreated in Dalston. It’s on a much smaller scale , but still, coming complete with windmill to grind the harvest, it gets the point across: that urban and rural should not be divided, that Man needs to merge with, not dominate, his natural environment. This is the show’s fundamental message." The rural bit is sadly missing in Dalston, but we have got some of the skyscrapers now -and more on the way.

  4. i am shocked at how much resistance there is to absolutely anything that is proposed around Dalston.

    I think this exhibit is harmless, is free for us (on Barbican's) and could be really enjoyable.

    I suggest people propose how to inhabit
    this temporary space if unsatisfied with the programme. Maybe is better to build up on arising opportunities instead of systematically complain.

    ...Or am I missing something?

  5. This what Hari Kunzru said in last Saturday's Guardian "....Perhaps inevitably, the image that has stayed with me in the days since I saw Radical Nature is from this earlier period - the picture of Agnes Denes standing in the wheatfield she planted on waste ground in the shadow of the twin towers in 1982. The woman with the staff, waist-deep in yellow wheat, which stretches away until, shockingly, it ends in the glass and steel of New York's financial district, speaks about many things - global commerce, waste, a queasy nostalgia for an idealised agrarian past. Denes's work is being recreated in Dalston, as part of Radical Nature. Go and see what it looks like against the backdrop of a part of London that's just fought (and lost) a battle against aggressive development, seeing several heritage buildings demolished to make way for a huge tower block."

  6. Constantino says there’s resistance to “absolutely anything” in Dalston. Not true. There’s no resistance, for example, to restoring our historic buildings or nurturing our small independent businesses. But there is suspicion, and often resistance, to top down solutions imposed by people who have little or no knowledge of the area. We’re not aware of the “various local communities " which the architects EXYZT claim to have been working closely with - we wait to hear more.


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