Hackney-based artist STIK has unveiled his first public sculpture, a 4m tall bronze sculpture entitled ‘Holding Hands’. The project was the culmination of a four-year collaboration between STIK and Hackney Council and has been solely funded by the artist.
You may recognise the image of the two ‘Holding Hands’ STIK figures, it was the official Hackney banner for the London Pride Parade featuring two non-gender specific figures in 2016. Read more in our blog here.
STIK was homeless when he first arrived in Hackney 20 years ago and has painted his way to successful art exhibitions all over the world, public art in cities such as New York and Tokyo, has reached record selling artworks at famous auction houses, whilst still remembering who helped him in his journey. Kind-hearted STIK has raised over £250,000 for charities across Hackney, benefiting the community that has embraced him.
A year later, STIK began working with the Council to find a permanent home in one of Hackney’s many green-flagged parks for ‘Holding Hands’ and Hoxton Square was chosen.
“We’re proud to be able to support and share the creativity of our residents and are honoured to provide Holding Hands an iconic home in Hoxton Square. This represents a longstanding commitment to inclusive public art that can be enjoyed by everyone in our parks and public spaces. The values of unity and connection that this sculpture represents are at one with the Hackney I see every day. I’d like to thank STIK for his record of activism, collaborating with the borough and this generous donation, and Council officers for their hard work in getting this sculpture in place. Together, they have created something that I hope will be enjoyed for decades to come.” Mayor of Hackney, Philip Glanville
The finished sculpture stands tall at four metres…
“Holding Hands’ depicts two figures facing in opposite directions yet holding hands in a sign of universal love and solidarity. Traditionally cast in patinated bronze, the sculpture is roughly twice human height, the hands low enough for the viewer to reach, the feet planted firmly on the ground, legs forming a doorway the viewer may pass through. One figure walks determinedly westwards towards the city centre the other moves gracefully to the east, eyes turned to the treetops. The composition has been constructed in such a way that at first one figure appears to lead, then the other, depending on where the viewer is standing in relation to the sculpture. It is a subtle reminder of what it is to look at the world from other people’s perspectives as relevant today as it will be in 100 years. The ‘Holding Hands’ sculpture is being installed at a poignant time in our history when holding hands is not always possible but is a symbol of hope for what has always been and what will be again. The sculpture is intended as a timeless and inclusive meeting place for all regardless of race, sexuality, gender, faith, or social status.” STIK
The STIK sculpture stands proud in Hoxton Square…
Visitors to the new sculpture are invited to post a selfie of themselves with someone in their bubble using the hashtag #STIK #HoldingHands.
Please observe current social distancing responsibilities when posing with the sculpture and sanitise your hands after touching the sculpture to reduce risk of contact COVID-19. STAY SAFE and ENJOY :)
Photo credit STIK/Hackney Council 2020