On a warm, but cloudy afternoon in September, we entered the vibrant, unapologetically raw studio of Lindsay Mapes, nestled within our Hackney Wick Studios
Originally hailing from the USA, Lindsay studied Painting at the San Francisco Art Institute and Studio Arts Centre International in Florence before landing at University College London. Lindsay’s work explores themes of truth – the truth about painting; about surface; about the making and the process that evolves around that aren’t swept under the rug; they’re front and centre. It’s been eight months since she moved into her studio, and we took the opportunity to chat with Lindsay about her artistic journey and studio practice.
Tell us your name and what you do
Lindsay Mapes (LM): Hi, my name is Lindsay and I am an artist, a painter, a sculptor, let’s say an artist.
Can you share your journey into discovering the Creative Land Trust space and elaborate on the advantages it offers in comparison to your previous work environments, such as size, lighting, and its impact on your productivity and creativity?
LM: I had a studio on Ridley Road for 13 years, and as an artist in London, studio spaces come at a high cost. Over time, the areas where artists work tend to become more expensive, making it challenging to balance studio expenses, housing, and living costs in the city. After 13 years, the studio prices at Ridley Road became too steep for me. However, when Cell Studios announced their partnership with Creative Land Trust and the construction of new studios in Hackney Wick, I was thrilled yet apprehensive. Leaving a space where I’d spent most of my creative journey was emotionally challenging, and the logistical aspect of packing up years of artwork was daunting. Fortunately, I found the perfect space in Hackney Wick, and I consider myself incredibly lucky. It’s undoubtedly my favourite studio to date, and I don’t take it for granted.
Photographer Sylvie Belbouab
Could you elaborate on the significance of affordable workspaces for London creatives? You’ve touched on this briefly. How do you perceive the evolving challenges artists face in securing affordable spaces, and why is it essential to preserve London’s reputation as a hub for creativity in this context?
LM: So for me, living in London, specifically East London, is something that’s extremely important to me. I’m really interested in the grit of city lifestyle and the messiness, not the perfectness. You know, I’m choosing not to live in the suburbs for a reason. But I find it really difficult to balance that financially as well. When you have a child and you’re paying for nursery, your home and a studio, it all starts to add up. So not only is finding the perfect space important for your practice, but it’s also the affordability – You have to question if it will cause more stress to pay the rent every month – or is it worth it? Being in this space has shown me that it is worth it.
I believe that Creative Land Trust has intentionally created spaces like this to support the artistic community. Their goal is to ensure that artists can preserve their practices and artwork, so that we are not pushed out into small villages outside of London. We can stay in London and make work and meet other artists, which is a huge part of our work. The community is so important.
Tell us more about some of your up and coming projects?
LM: So I’m really excited about the Frieze exhibition called MELT. That’s a joint exhibition between creative Land Trust and Hypha Studios. What can I say I’m thrilled to be showing a new piece. It’s a wall sculpture piece, although I see it as a painting. This will be alongside 32 other artists. It opens in October.
Hypha Studios is also super important, because I will be curating an exhibition of 12 different artists living and working around the Olympic Park and Hackney Wick area. So it feels like there is a larger community forming and this has all happened within the last year because we moved in here in the beginning of December 2022. So these amazing opportunities are constantly coming up. I am excited about Frieze Week, which the MELT exhibition coincides with!
This interview series is in collaboration with Mount Anvil, partners of our third affordable artists studios at Friary Park, Acton, due to launch in 2026. Read more about the portfolio here.
MELT is an exhibition in collaboration with Hypha Studio. View Lindsay’s work alongside the astonishing work of 32 other artists supported by both Hypha Studio and Creative Land Trust.
Where: Unit 3. Euston Tower. 286 Euston Road London NW1 3DP
When: Private view Wednesday 11th October 6 – 9pm RSVP here
Frieze West End Night Thursday 12th October 6 – 8pm RSVP here
*with a conversation about making new space for culture in cities*
OPEN: Monday 9th – 22nd October 2023
12 – 6pm daily