Local artist wanted for Ridley Road installations in Dalston

Hackney Council is inviting applications from artists to design and install two public art features at Ridley Road in Dalston, as part of a £1 million upgrade of the much-loved street market.

The artwork will reflect the character and spirit of the market, which has been treasured by the Dalston community since the 1880s. Ridley Road’s history and heritage will be referenced in the design and the artwork will improve the market’s signage and visibility to around 2.7 million visitors who come every year. 

A local artist who is familiar with the area and understands the historical importance of the street market and its place in the local community will be appointed to take the project forward. They will be responsible for arranging engagement and workshops sessions with local people and businesses, and seeing the artwork through from initial ideas to installation, ensuring the necessary permissions are in place with support from the Council.

Safeguarding and improving Ridley Road Market to ensure its long-term future is a priority for the Council, and a response to feedback from the Dalston Conversation, the Council’s biggest ever engagement exercise between September 2018 and March 2019, which saw 5,000 people take part. A key finding demonstrated local people’s desire for the market to retain its character, vibrancy and role as a community destination.

Cllr Guy Nicholson, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Housing Supply, Planning, Culture and Inclusive Economy

There is a great tradition in Dalston of hosting exciting, progressive and participatory public art from the Peace Mural to the Dalston House installation and the Dalston Mill cornfield that became the Eastern Curve Garden. It's now time to look beyond Dalston’s cultural quarter in and around Ashwin Street, to Ridley Road street market as the space for the next arts-led interventions in Dalston. 

The creative challenge for these commissions is to celebrate and capture Ridley Road's past, present and future. From Ridley Road’s cultural and trading history over the last 140 years to the celebration of place and people capturing the strength and diversity of the communities that live and work in Dalston.

Cllr Guy Nicholson, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Housing Supply, Planning, Culture and Inclusive Economy

The art installations will be key to improving the gateway into Ridley Road from Kingsland High Street, Colvestone Crescent and St Mark’s Rise. It is the latest in a line of Council improvements to Ridley Road street market and the surrounding area. Work got under way last September on the £1 million upgrade, which will see new street trees, free public wifi and cashless payment machines installed, with further improvements to nearby Ashwin Street.

The Council also announced last month that the indoor market, Ridley Road Shopping Village, will be safeguarded for the long-term after plans to take over the management and sign a 15 year lease on part of the building were approved, giving traders security and a chance to grow their businesses for the future. The Shopping Village was also previously made an Asset of Community Value.

More details about the commission and application process

Email cory.defoe@hackney.gov.uk by 28 February to apply