Hackney loses Kate Malone fish statues to Leyton

Lee Valley Regional Park WaterWorks Nature Reserve summer 2013 © LVRPA
Fished out of Hackney: 1 of 4 remaining Kate Malone sculptures at Middx Filter Beds Clapton E5 250813 © david.altheer@gmail.com
Devastation in the filter-beds pond and, top, reinstatement at the Leyton pond © LVRPA

WaterWorks Nature Reserve Lammas Rd Leyton E10 7QB 2013 © david.altheer@gmail.comHACKNEY HAS lost the four fish sculptures created by local internationally admired artist Kate Malone for a pond near the River Lea Navigation.

Entitled Rise and Shine Magic Fish, they were popping their vivid ceramic heads and tails above the water at the Middlesex Filter Beds from 1991 until they suffered vandalism and theft early in 2012.

Loving Dalston noticed their absence and has since been uncovering the story of how officialdom reacted.

The artwork’s commissioner, the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority (LVRPA), did not always keep Malone up to date with the news of vandalism.

Damaged remnants of two of the pieces were left in the pond for six months after it had dried up because a pump generator had been stolen.

The LVRPA made no insurance claim because the cost of repairing the damage fell below the excess on its policy, requiring the authority’s contingency fund to be used.

Police have reported no progress in solving the theft, which was notified to them in March last year.The three remaining sculptures are finally going back on public display, this time in a pond at the WaterWorks reserve in Leyton, a kilometre’s walk from their original location in Hackney.

The LVRPA  said: “The  restoration of the fish piece has now been completed and once the reed bed is cut, it [the remaining piece] will be installed near the other two pieces.

“The restorer was recommended by Kate Malone.”

Hackney Wick ward councillor Christopher Kennedy, the borough’s representatives on the LVRPA, told Loving Dalston: “The first I knew about their removal was your enquiry, but it is not a matter about which I would expect to have been asked.

“They [the sculptures] may have left the borough but they are not that far from where they used to be and are safer and still easily accessible for Hackney residents.”

The Save Lea Marshes campaign group says the LVRPA wants to turn the Waterworks into a private campsite, “fencing off the whole area and keeping local residents out”.

David Altheer 061213

* Emboldened underscored words in most cases indicate a hyperlink, a reader service rare among websites. If a link does not work, it is probably because the site to which the URL refers has not been maintained.

* Backstory: Fished off

* Anyone with information about the thefts is asked to phone the Metropolitan Police on 101. The WaterWorks is in Lammas Road, Leyton E10 7QB, and entry is free.

* Kate Malone will open her studio, at 8B Culford Mews, De Beauvoir N1 4DX,  to the public from today Fri 6 Dec 2013 to Sun 8 Dec 2013, 11am-6pm. Free entry.

Fish250813: 4 Kate Malone fish sculptures have been moved by LVRPA London 250813 © david.altheer@gmail.com
Vacant: even this signpost at the filter beds has been denuded of its note of the sculptures
This site welcomes fair comments, including the critical. Letters may be edited for grammatical, legal or taste reasons, or for shortening. RSS feed link is at top right. Twitter: @lovingdalston Publicists, amateur and professional, should read http://bit.ly/ZnClKc Also relevant may be the note at the end of http://bit.ly/117GXmi Photographs © David Altheer unless otherwise stated and apart from supplied pictures

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