Reading room and art exhibition open on Hackney train station platform

Residents and passengers can now visit a new reading room and art exhibition on Platform One at Hackney Downs station, as part of a project supported by Hackney Council.

The contemporary art space brings back into use empty units on the railway platform and includes a programme of exhibitions, events and performance. The reading room holds a collection of artist s books and other printed material that can be read there or bought.

The project is entitled Banner repeater and is the latest in a series of projects supported by Hackney Council to being empty shops and premises back to life. The projects are financed by central government funding awarded to the Council, and are designed to provide activities that will benefit Hackney s residents and visitors.

Cllr Guy Nicholson, Hackney Council Cabinet Member for Regeneration and the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, said: "By commissioning initiatives such as Banner Repeater, the Council is helping to promote to residents and visitors alike, the great creative talent flourishing across Hackney, as well as supporting our local economy. This series of commissions, which includes Farm:Shop, is a fantastic use of empty spaces across the borough. I hope as many people as possible visit these great projects.”

Banner Repeater is run by artist Ami Clarke. The reading room s permanent collection is home to Publish and be Damned’s public library. Banner Repeater will publish an on-going series of pamphlets and posters, in tandem with the arts programme, as well as events, performance and lectures commissioned from the project space.

The website gives current details of all projects and has an email listings to subscribe to, as well as allowing people to log the location of pamphlets:

Supported for the first year by Hackney Council’s Empty Shop Fund, and Arts Council England, the project is planned to run for three years.

Other projects in the series supported by Hackney Council include Farm:Shop at 20 Dalston Lane, E8, which is due to open to the public next month (November). Eco-designers Something & Son are working with volunteers to transform the empty shop into a working farm. Mini fish farms, rooftop chicken coops and an indoor hydroponic allotment are among the eco and agricultural innovations being created. Something & Son aim to grow as much food as possible over the next year, which will be served in the shop cafe and sold to nearby restaurants. Find out more:

The first project was pop-up art gallery POSTED in a former post office at 67 Wilton Way, E8, curated by Julia Royse and running from July 2010 to March 2011, which explores the post and our postal heritage. Two exhibitions of work by local artists were also run in the new library building at Dalston Square, under the direction of curator Rose Lejeune.

For more information on all the projects please visit: