Hackney Museum

Rain, rain, rain and into Hackney Museum which was swamped by buggies and babies as Maddy was doing her Friday sessions of Sing-along-with-Maddy (see Stroll London listings http://www,strolllondon.wordpress.com)). If ever there were a museum which reached out to the community and has relevant exhibitions, this is the one . Things are set to get even better as a re-vamp and re think are underway to trawl out the nets and haul in the punters . Museums are businesses.

I’d wended my way from Walthamstow to visit two exhibitions and to sign up for the many workshops on offer. (Who knew?) Firstly there was The Core Arts exhibition of art work by people who are diagnosed as having a mentally ill status and then the collection of Hackney’s oldest photographs, photos of the rich and influential e. g Booth of Abney Park Cemetery  and Sally Army fame

.2013-04-12 10.31.50  There’s a video playing in the corner of the artist Jacqueline Chin dancing to her own music against a background of her own paintings. Jah Rastafari!

The whole exhibition is well-presented with interactive elements and lots to smile at. Each artist describes herself/himself in terms of mental states and where they are now.

2013-04-12 10.32.04 2013-04-12 10.31.53

There’s an excellent display of visual information about how east London did not care for their insane fellows and how drugs took the edge off whippings. I come from a childhood near Colney Hatch Lane and children and adults regularly taunted each other with “You’ll end up in Colney Hatch” a well-known North London suburbs lunatic asylum. Goodness knows what was going on in there in the fifties.

Ghostly was the photographic display. I too have hundreds of 1800’s sepia photos all un-named and maybe useful one day. Doubt it. It was hard to read all the information with mummies reading aloud stories to Tarquins in the same space but hey, that’s a community museum.

Well worth the 48 bus ride.

Jumble sale at Hackney’s Hospice in Mare Street on Saturday 13th April. Is it that time already?

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