Splice: supporting local art

by Kate Higham


We are thrilled to have been accepted into the Shoreditch Design Triangle for 2015 & here’s why….


In January, I sat down with photographer Jenny Lewis over a coffee & we talked about how we could push the creative side of Splice. We spoke about how we wanted to support local art & businesses from Hackney & started to put together a strategy for doing so.


Splice, is a post-production company, founded by co-directors Duncan Western & Damian Dolniak in 2002. We create content for all major broadcasters, independent films & commercials. The company occupies three floors of Unit 21 at Perseverance Works & last year doubled in size when we acquired a new facility on Singer Street.


The company has been supporting local art quietly for some time. Our walls are adorned with dozens of local designer Jess Wilson’s (represented by Jealous Gallery) fun & vibrant prints as well as East End street artist Pure Evil.


But after our conversation, Jenny & I realised we wanted to push this further, why not offer our facilities as gallery space? After all, the foot traffic at Splice is full of creative people. We have over 50 suites across the two buildings with at least 100 clients here each day from commissioning editors to film directors.


We set about looking for our first artist in residence with the help of Jenny & her contact list. First up, was local publishing house Hoxton Mini Press, they loaned us an amazing photograph taken from their book ‘I’ve lived in East London for 86½ Years’, as it was coming to Christmas we took the collaboration one step further & gave our clients one of their books as our Christmas gift. Next, we had the fabulous Crispin Finn, a graphic design duo from Hackney who work only in red, white & blue who brightened up our January with their fun prints & stickers, we sold their calendars on reception which was perfect for the beginning of the year.

Crispin Finn - The Truman Mirror
Crispin Finn – The Truman Mirror

I created a page on our website called We Love, giving us a platform to talk about the artists we were supporting & I inserted direct links to their own websites. We also set up a Splice instagram account where we could develop more of a personality for the business, shout about the artists whilst also interacting with them & their followers.


The feeling amongst clients & crew was so encouraging, each season they were coming into a completely different space that suddenly felt more creative than ever.


In April though, something entirely new happened. For the first time we had an artist turn their attention to the exterior of our building. We gave our Singer Street facility as a blank canvas to Hackney artist Camille Walala who along with a team of loyal Instagram followers (she has over 20,000) embarked on transforming the entire building. I even had a paintbrush in my hand, taking me back to my art degree days!


It was incredible to see her turn our boring black box building into a bright & cheerful art installation, every day I turn the corner from Old Street station excited to see it again. The reaction from onlookers has been incredible, there are constantly people walking around the building snapping photographs on their iPhones, it’s generated a real feeling of excitement in the area. We even filmed a timelapse of the building coming to life which you can watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IthZHqoeUC8

Photo by Jenny Lewis
Photo by Jenny Lewis

Becoming a part of the Shoreditch Design Triangle is the cherry on top of a fantastic year at Splice and we look forward to opening our doors in September to show you what we’re all about!

Follow Splice on Instagram: @splice_post