A day in the life of a circus performer in Hackney Wick

Luke-Chadwick Jones spends his days throwing his housemates around and bouncing off mats at their circus warehouse in Hackney Wick.

For most Londoners working from home consists of being bound to one’s laptop and spending the day on conference calls.

But for Luke-Chadwick Jones his days are spent throwing his housemates around and bouncing off mats.

The 29-year-old circus artist has been living and training in a converted circus warehouse in Hackney Wick for almost two years.

He shares the space in Fish Island with nine other artists, in which the studio is also open to the public as a rehearsal space.

LondonWorld caught up with Luke during one of his training sessions.

“I usually train for an average of two to eight hours per day, six days per week,” he said in between somersaults.

The circus warehouse on Fish Island, Hackney Wick. Credit: Lynn Rusk

The 12-metre studio space, which also functions as a living room is complete with trampets, air tracks, trapezes and a unicycle thrown in for good measure.

“We don’t really watch television here, we normally juggle and throw each other around till the early hours of the morning.”

“I think Hackney Wick in particular is a great place for creatives,” he said.

“This has been a hub of artistic talent for well over two decades.

“It used to be cheap, artists could live here.

“We could sit in our studios and do whatever we wanted to do; paint, draw, exercise, throw each other around, party, whatever it is that anyone in this creative part of London wants to do.

“For me, Fish Island Circus was based here so I fell in love with the circus that was established there, these studios, so I built myself and my business into that hub there and Hackney just constantly brings in this pool of talent, whether it’s painters, writers or theatre makers.

Hackney is a place for me that actually I feel like home, which has been difficult over the last decade to call anywhere like that, living on the road.

“It won’t be here long, but I’ll enjoy the precious moments of what we’ve got left.”

Along with being a highly skilled acrobat, Luke also works as a filmmaker, photographer, actor and director and embraces all things creative.

The crew will stay up all night doing acrobatics. Credit: Lynn Rusk

He enjoys living in this space with other artists as it inspires and motivates his creative process.

“You are what you immerse yourself with,” he said.

“I think you become at least 10 percent of everybody you surround yourself with.

“I’m really fortunate to be surrounded by excellence and brilliance and people who really thrive off discipline and having a great time and celebrating life and pushing the boundaries of their own talents and limitations.

“I feel really blessed to be surrounded by such amazing folk and most definitely I owe a lot to those people who are around me.

“As much as it is a challenge at times living with creative people because we have our own quirks and our own ways of working.

“Ultimately I owe a lot to every creative person that I live with and everybody in the environment that I live in because they’ve all given me so many skills and so much passion and motivation.”