Interview: Lydia and Becky on Art Party Runt of the Litter in Hackney Wick
We caught up with Runt of the the Litter organisers Lydia and Becky shaking up the scene in Hackney Wick with their blend of artist runts taking over the town.
Tell us about Runt of the Litter. What should we expect?
Runt is a performance art and gallery night in Hackney Wick. We work to promote artists making experimental dance, performance, video work, visual art, theatre, sound and noise art.
At our core we are dedicated to creating a home for experimental work that doesn’t always fit into institutional spaces and to championing work by artists that are often overlooked by mainstream art venues and wider society.
What should you expect?
A huge range of work covering multiple artistic practices that is from artists who believe that experimental work (and runts) deserve a home!
What makes the night different and who should we look out for?
Runt happens in a warehouse home. We are run by dedicated members of the Hackney Wick community who volunteer their time to make the night possible. We are free to those who need and all of the money we take goes to the artists whose work we want to support as best we can.
A focus of ours- that I think makes Runt different -is our aim to make the night as accepting, caring and accessible as possible to all, and particularly to our artists. We sit before the night starts with them and the team and eat a meal together where we chat, skill-share, moan etc. I think this is just one way that a real feel of community is alive at Runt.
Moreover, we are brash, accepting, homely and a little messy at times. The work we platform is always received with infinite support from our accepting and loving audience!
Who should you look out for?
Anyone who you think is a Runt and send them our way!
Who or what are your influences for curating a night like Runt?
Runt was born in lockdown as a response to many smaller art spaces and events being shut down due to slashes in funding and limited resources. Larger institutions stayed open and much of the programming did not reflect the DIY, experimental and community focused work we so love.
Alongside this, much gentrification around Hackney Wick saw many local art spaces and nights coming to a halt. Situated in an old warehouse made home, we really want to remember and reignite the past Hackney Wick where art could erupt anywhere and the community would support it. Call us nostalgic- but we think it works!
What are your favourite London haunts? (To eat, to party, to see new art)
To Eat: Lydia’s friends Sacha and Eoghan have opened the best restaurant in London Town! – Shankey’s. It’s a South Indian/ Irish fusion of sharing plates found in an repurposed bakery on Well Street, Hackney (could it sound more East London). They have cocktails made with Kerrygold butter and the nicest team you’ll ever meet- go!
To Party: Our friends at Sexquisite always put on a great night, with performances solely from Sex Worker artists. The Yard Theatre nights have great collectives at the minute putting on amazing work.
For New Art and Theatre: The Yard Theatre has really interesting programming for more experimental theatre. Live Art Club is a great place for new work too, located at VSSL in Deptford. The work there is always so interesting and intimate.
And look, it’d be amiss if we didn’t mention our night too – Runt of The Litter in Hackney Wick- our next one is May 18 – see you there!
I am Joint Editor at To Do List. I like free, cheap & offbeat London, especially: cabaret, art, theatre, pop-ups, eating out, quirky films, museums, day trips, social enterprise & much more.