On Monday afternoon, moments after Eva Lis completed work on WW Gallery's newly commissioned sculpture Mudman, looters - for we can only use the word 'rioters' advisedly - spilled into Queensdown Rd and Hackney Downs and were seen off by riot & mounted police.
Although WW Gallery is currently closed for summer, their new initiative Patio Projects is open 24/7 and plays host this August and September to new work by Eva Lis.
While bins and cars burned bright on neighbouring Clarence Road, youths filtered down their street, searching bins and gardens for missiles. Two boys entered Patio Projects to pick up loose concrete and bricks, and threatened to smash in the gallery's window when they saw a camera, however they pretty much ignored Mudman himself.
WW's Debra Wilson said yesterday: "Mudman is the personification of the British resolve to damn well have a summer and be outdoors, even if the reality involves frequent rain torrents, sturdy umbrellas...and flying bricks"
Chiara Williams, on Facebook and Twitter, added: "Snowmen often symbolise innocence, but, in the context of the Hackney riots which broke out on the day of completion, the Mudman may also be read as referencing social and racial tensions and loss of innocence, as in Harper Lee's 1960 'To Kill a Mockingbird', when Jem & Scout build a muddy snowman in front of a neighbour's house, which later burns down."
Mudman, is a provisional work which will stand until 30th September, or until it disintegrates, at 30 Queensdown Rd, E5 8NN.
WW is currently fundraising in order to develop its Projects programme and properly support participating artists. If you would like to donate or find out more, please click here