By Mental Gentle
A while ago, we did a photo-shoot in Shoreditch and a fellow photographer told us to check out an area called Fish Island, so we decided to explore it on a photo walk.
Fish Island is a wonderfully curious place, not least as it it neither an island or particularly full of fish. Named because of some of its ‘fishy’ street names (Dace Road, Roach Road, Bream Street etc), and historically part of Old Ford (now divided from it by the A12, known as the East Cross Route), it is situated south of where the Hertford Union Canal joins the Hackney Cut and is sandwiched between Hackney Wick and the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Until relatively recently, the area was mainly populated by warehouses, offices and waste disposal facilities, but after the Roach Point bridge was opened in 2005, it became far easier to get there from Hackney Wick Station and this, together with the ongoing conversion of warehouses and other empty buildings into live-in work spaces, has seen the area grow as an artistic community, full of creative enterprise, yet still retaining a uniquely industrial-feeling landscape.
There are some wonderful pieces of street art to be found all across Fish Island, especially along the waterways and towpaths, where the boat-dwellings, warehouses, art galleries, studios, cafes and old factories offer a complete contrast to the grandeur and modernity of the Olympic Stadium and park, providing two equally brilliant aspects of London in perfect (and close!) proximity.
We’d really recommend checking it out for yourself as not many people know about Fish Island (we certainly didn’t) and even on a grey day it was a really vibrant place. We’re looking forward to going back in the spring or summer to experience it on a sunny day…!