Discover East London’s hidden art and design gems

Hidden Art is going back to its roots of revealing Hidden treasures. This time it is not only revealing studios of designers and makers based in East London, but also other treasures that have given East London its charm and attraction over the years.

This Hidden Art Experience gives you a glimpse of behind the scene East London and will take you to places you won’t easily find yourself.

Lesley Mc Shea's workshop. Photo: Josie Mills.

Lesley Mc Shea’s workshop. Photo: Josie Mills.

It is part of the Airbnb Experiences and is set over three days. (10 hours) In a small group of six you will sample the delights of East London, including meals in unexpected places, and buildings. It allows for ample time to spend more time in East London on your own or with other group participants.

The tailor-made experience is run by Dieneke Ferguson, the founder and CEO of the not for profit organisation Hidden Art. Your fee will be reinvested in Hidden Art and help its work to support and promote designers and makers.  That way you will directly contribute to the designers and makers community whilst at the same time giving you a unique insight into the world of East London and Design and turn you into an active participant.

Hidden Art has won numerous awards for its work nurturing new design talent and providing opportunities to expose East London artists to wider audiences. For further details on Hidden Art.

You can find the Hidden Art Experience on Airbnb here

What to Expect

You’ll unlock the story of the fascinating and multicultural East London, as told through its buildings, food, and especially its art. Any profits from this trip will be donated to Hidden Art.

Day 1 – The Charms of Stoke Newington  – 3 hours

On the first day, you will see first-hand the beauty of Stoke Newington, a charming enclave in East London. We’ll start at the Hidden Art headquarters, where we’ll discuss local art over a drink. Then, we’ll walk through Abney Park Cemetery, one of the “Magnificent Seven” cemeteries in London.

Abney Park Cemetary

Abney Park Cemetary

We’ll continue to Church Street, where we’ll meet ceramicist Lesley McShea who will demonstrate her glazing technique.

Lesley McShea in her workshop

Lesley McShea in her workshop

Dieneke says:

Hidden Art is the organisation I’ve poured my passion into for the past 25 years. Abney Park Cemetery is unique for its park-like setting that encourages relaxation and reflection. Lesley McShea’s studio provides an inspiring place to learn about and appreciate hand-crafted ceramics.

More information on Lesley McShea. To buy Lesley’s pots

Day 2: The Furniture Trade in Shoreditch  – 4 hours

We’ll dine with a curator from the Geffrye Museum, which explores middle-class life in London from the 1600s up through today.

Outside the Geffrye Museum, Museum of the Home

Outside the Geffrye Museum, Museum of the Home

After gaining some behind-the-scenes insights from the curator and touring the museum, we’ll walk a few blocks to the furniture maker, Unto This Last. We’ll meet with founder and director Olivier Geffroy, who will give you an inside look at how their furniture is made. More information on Unto this Last.

Elodie le Roy gives a demonstration at Unto this Last

Elodie le Roy gives a demonstration at Unto this Last

Where we’ll be

The Geffrye, known as the Museum of the Home, provides unparalleled documentation of domestic life in London over the last four centuries. For more information about the Geffrye Museum

With furniture built and sold on site, Unto This Last is the perfect place to appreciate modern design and craftsmanship.

Unto this Last

Unto this Last

Day 3: Textiles in Broadway Market – 3 hours

Over lunch in a Japanese café in Haggerston Basin, we’ll discuss what gives the area its lively, authentic charm.

Fabrications on Broadway Market

Fabrications on Broadway Market

We’ll then stroll along the Regent’s Canal to Broadway Market, where we’ll visit Fabrications, the studio of textile designer Barley Massey. Barley will show us the art of “Macro Knitting” (experimental creative knitting using oversized needles) and you can have a go yourself as well.

Barley Massey from Fabrications shows how to macro knit

Barley Massey from Fabrications shows how to macro knit

For more details about classes at Fabrications.

Toconoco is a Japanese café located in a tucked-away courtyard that brings a bit of Japanese life to East London. Fabrications is a gallery, studio, and shop that focuses on contemporary textile design. It’s a bustling hub of creativity for Londoners and visitors alike.

To book your place on the Hidden Art Experience.

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