Collaboration with Reverie Studio

As many of you know, the name of our shop is taken from the Walrus And The Carpenter in Lewis Carroll’s Through The Looking-Glass – And What Alice Found There.

When Reverie Studio approached us about doing a card collaboration we though that this could be an interesting idea to play with and what’s more we could tie the product launch in with our 10th Anniversary Party. We started thinking about what other children’s literary quotes there were and in particular, which would make great gift and birthday cards.

Having narrowed the list down to four quotes from two of our favourite children’s stories, Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan, Reverie Studio then kindly set about printing them up.

The cards are available in orange and pale grey and either singly or in packs of 8. As with all of Reverie Studio’s products they are recycled, recyclable and biodegradable. Some of the papers Reverie use are even recycled from coffee cups! Letterpress, one of the oldest forms of printing and still going strong today, is a method of relief printing. The text or image is etched onto a polymer plate, which is then inked and applied under pressure on a printing press to a piece of paper to transfer the ink. This often creates an embossed effect around the printed area and a truly handmade finish.

The cards are available now in the shop individually or in a pack of 8. The packs of 8 are also available online. Here are the quotes we chose. We hope you like them!

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

“You’re mad, bonkers and completely off your head. But I’ll tell you a secret….. all the best people are.”

“Where should I go? Alice. “That depends on where you want to end up” The Cheshire Cat

Peter Pan by J.M Barrie

“Would you like an adventure now, or shall we have tea first?”

“I suppose it’s like the ticking crocodile, isn’t it? Time is chasing after all of us.”

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Of Cabbages & Kings Turns 10!

Founded in 2008, Of Cabbages & Kings is delighted to be celebrating its 10th anniversary this May.

Owner Jessica Widdows fills us in on the story so far …

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Photograph by Leah Band

Perhaps I always wanted to run a shop? As children, one of our favourite games was ‘villages’, whereby various make-shift camps were erected around the garden selling sticks, leaves and mud-pies under the banners of ‘Post Office’, ‘bakery’ and ‘café’. Later, I remember my mother returning from a trip to Bali with an antique puppet and thinking; what an amazing job – to travel the world collecting weird and wonderful objects and to sell those in a shop. I went on my travels. I didn’t set up a shop. Not for a while at least!

Art college took me to Bristol for 6 years. We made friends, we put on some shows, we talked a lot, we drank a lot, we worked hard and we had a good time. In 2006, after a year in Suffolk caring for my mother, I moved to London. Life had been on hold. It was all change. No plan. I took a job in a book shop and then tried banging on the doors of the publishing industry, but those doors remained firmly closed. It was at this moment I decided to go solo.

My principal strategy was ‘the more people I tell about this project, the less able I’m going to be to back down’. I scoured North and East London for a suitable premises. I had no money, but this didn’t seem to matter. Eventually I came across the little space on Kersley Road in Stoke Newington (just off Church Street). I rang the number in the window, persuaded my godmother to give me a cash advance and the bank manager that I had a viable business idea. To this day, I’m not sure anyone truly believed it was, but I was determined, and still am, to prove us all wrong!

The aim of the shop was to provide a ‘bricks and mortar’ selling space for emerging designers and makers. I knew a lot of creative people making interesting and beautiful things, but their outlets seemed limited. I picked a name – probably the hardest decision. After re-reading both the Alice books I settled on a quote from The Walrus and The Carpenter:

“The time has come,” the Walrus said

“To talk of many things:

Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax—

Of cabbages and kings

I filled the space with some brightly painted 1950s kitchen cabinets on loan from a friend and set about gathering stock from all the local designers and makers I could find. We stayed at Kersley Road for over 4 years, at the same time hosting regular Market Days at Abney Hall. The markets were the perfect way to meet makers and source products, and this sense of community carries through to the shop today. We still have brands that have been with us since day dot: Mister Peebles for example, or Tom Pigeon (formerly Lovely Pigeon) who I’ve carried for years and who seem to evolve and reinvent themselves just as the shop does.

While the little space on Kersley road was perfect for finding my feet, I soon ran out of room. My toilet doubled as a store cupboard and over-stock was wedged in every available cranny. Not only did we need more space, but also a better and more attractive location. Things had to change.

In October 2012, Of Cabbages and Kings took up residence at 127 Stoke Newington High Street with new housemate Knit with attitude. Following a fruitful evening down the pub with owner Maya Bang, we came up with the inspired idea of ‘moving in together’. Art and yarn? Why not? Like me she was in a tiny spot off the main drag and looking to expand.

The challenge was to make these two shops sit seamlessly side-by-side. We adopted an aesthetic that suited us both. On one side of the room a wall of wool; boxes filled with brightly coloured balls of yarn stacked one upon the other. Mirroring this my wall of products, pictures and prints. Of Cabbages and Kings has always been colourful, but we got bolder and brighter.

One of the biggest advantages of moving into 127 was the new big white wall with a gloriously high ceiling: the perfect gallery wall! Over the past 5 years we’ve held numerous exhibitions with a whole bunch of talented artists from Hackney and beyond. Those years at art school did come in handy after all!

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The community aspect of running this business is still the bit that matters to me and that I enjoy the most; feeling part of something much bigger than myself: the local community, the creative community, the shop team, etc. And it’s through working with local charities, hosting workshops, exhibitions and knit nights that we feel connected. The last 10 years have certainly been a challenge. There have been some incredible highs and terrible lows in this process, but the sense of achievement when it finally comes together makes it all worthwhile.

Yet again it’s all change! Well perhaps not all change. Our little shop has taken quite a beating from all this activity, and so to celebrate Of Cabbages and Kings’ 10th anniversary we’ve decided to have a bit of a spruce up. Then, on Friday 25th May we will be hosting an official 10th Anniversary Party, to which you are all officially invited. Please come and join us for drinks and nibbles and a goose at the new refurb from 4pm – 8pm at 127 Stoke Newington High Street, N16 0PH.

Thank you so much for all your support – we couldn’t have done it without you!

 

 

 

Rachel Cox Studio Visit by George Cullen

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I visit ceramicist Rachel Cox in her studio in South West London and talk to her about her inspiration and process. She shows me the step by step methods used in creating her range of Tinto Ceramics. A surprising number of stages go into creating this collection and I’ve gained a new respect for these simple and elegant pieces and Rachel’s craft skills.

1.RACHEL-COX-Blog-01-ofcabbagesankings-oc&kRachel’s ceramics start with a coloured slip, which is a liquid clay mixture of porcelain, pigment and water.

What inspired you to become a ceramicist? 

As part of my BA degree in the Applied Arts I undertook the Erasmus exchange programme at the University of Pecs in Hungary, where I studied ceramics solely for six months. During this period I was given a lot of free time to really explore the material and its potentials, I was researching surface pattern and texture at the time and thoroughly enjoyed developing my ideas through the medium of clay. When I returned to my degree in the UK there was no going back, that was thirteen years ago now. Clay is such a malleable and changeable material it can portray almost infinite qualities. It is also an incredibly challenging material to use, which will not allow you to force your will upon it, you must rather understand its chemistry and behaviour in order to control it. For this reason it is a fascinating material to work with and requires a life long commitment in order to fully gain its command.  

1.RACHEL-COX-Blog-11-ofcabbagesankings-oc&kTo form the initial shape of the piece a plaster mould is used.

The mould can be separated into two pieces. The coloured slip is poured into the bottom part of mould and allowed to sit for a short time. The slip that is touching the plaster walls of the mould starts to dry and forms a skin on the inside. The excess slip is poured away, leaving a thin coating of coloured slip on the inside of the mould. Just like making a chocolate easter egg! The rough edges are then trimmed down and neatened off. 

Tell us a little about the process of creating your ceramic objects?

My designs always start as initial sketches on paper and later move into design software where they can be visualised three dimensionally. There are seven items in my collection, which I have developed over four years; I often design pieces together such as the carafe and cup set. When the designs are complete I make paper models in order to explore their scale and proportions physically. Most changes are made in the paper model stage as at this point I am interacting with the design and considering its functional and ergonomic qualities. This initial stage involves going back and forth between sketches on paper, computer designs and models. Later I will turn the final design out of plaster using chisels and specialised tools on a lathe, from this plaster 3D model I will make a two part plaster mould. The pastel colours are poured as liquid clay inside the plaster mould and are integral to the finished piece. Colour is also initially explored in my sketchbook through watercolour paints and is later developed in multiple series of ceramic colour tests, which involves mixing a spectrum of pigments in different percentages. The exterior surface of my pieces are very smooth and tactile, which involves multiple stages of sanding and finishing and are finally glazed on the inside with a shiny transparent glaze. 

The top part of the mould is then stacked and fastened with a band. This builds up the mould allowing the next layer of the plain porcelain slip to be added on top of the coloured one. As in the coloured slip process, the slip is poured in and allowed to sit for a time, it is then poured out of the mould. This leaves you with a complete, perfectly white porcelain layer, covering the coloured part on the inside. 

The pieces are then neatened up and any spilled slip is trimmed off leaving a neater edge.

Whats your favourite part of the process?

The favourite part of my process is right at the beginning during the initial conceptual design and colour development phase, this process can take months and is a creative and exciting period. 

1.RACHEL-COX-Blog-12-ofcabbagesankings-oc&kOnce out of the mould they are left to dry completely. Stacked on their rims to hold their shape. If handles are needed they are added once they are dry.

Handles are also made in a mould. They are applied to the mugs by first trimming the excess clay, then placing the handle against the mug and marking where it sits. These marks are then scratched to rough up the surface. Then like glue a mixture of water and slip is applied to the handle and mug. The handle is then pressed against the mug until it holds. 

The colour and form of your ceramics are very distinct, what were the inspirations for these?

The collection began while I was living in Barcelona and the shapes are influenced by the dining ware that I used on a daily basis such el vaso and la jarra on which I based the design of my contemporary cup and carafe set. The six complementary pastel shades of the collection emerged from colour surveys of my surrounding environment during that period and resulted in hundreds of ceramic colour tests being carried out to conclude the final six in the collection.

When the pieces are dry they can be hand finished. Out of the mould the rims and edges can be a little sharp and wouldn’t be pleasant to drink from. They are tidied up in a process called fettling. A wet sponge is used to work the rim into a more pleasing shape. This method of hand finishing ensures more control over the object. To make sure the piece is level it is rubbed rim side down, over a very even surface, covered in a damp cloth. Like sanding, this ensures the rim is level on all sides. A final finishing with a very fine sponge to make sure its even and to smooth out any join that might have appeared from the mould and any joins with the handle. 

How did the ‘Tinto’ collection get its name?

The name Tinto is a Spanish word, which originates from the Latin ‘tinctus’, meaning dyed, stained or tinted.

The next stage for the pieces are to be bisque fired. This is its first time in the kiln and its a process that hardens the clay so that it can be worked further. It also allows it to be glazed ready for its final firing. After they have been bisque fired they are all sanded down with different grades of sandpaper becoming finer and finer. This gives the pieces their characteristic finish and texture.  

Your mugs and cups sit very well in the hand. Does the way people interact with your pieces influence the design?

The design process heavily involves the functional considerations of the piece, such as how the piece feels to hold, its weight and material surface, how it sits in the hand and feels on the lips etc. The forms are designed with a consideration for balance and harmony, using glazed and unglazed ceramic surfaces I aim to produce items that are tactile and engage the user.

1.RACHEL-COX-Blog-22-ofcabbagesankings-oc&kThe final stage is to add a transparent glaze to the inside. Then they have their final firing in the kiln and the finished result is revealed. This picture shows you a mug before the fettling stage on the left and one finished from the kiln on the right . As the moisture is driving out through the firings the piece shrinks to give you the final sized object.  

Your mugs are great for the perfect cuppa! Whats your favourite brew? 

It has to be a strong Earl Grey with a dash of milk.

 

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Georgia Bosson Studio Visit by George Cullen

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Georgia Bosson, a screen printer and textile artist based in South London shows me around her studio and talks about her inspiration and practice.  Her screen printed trays and patterned notebooks, as well as collaborative prints with Cecily Vessey are now available in Of Cabbages and Kings.

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Ideas and experiments are pinned up behind her desk.

How long has the Georgia Bosson Studio been running?

I started the studio in 2013 after being offered a place to trade at Crafty Fox Market with my first batch of products, mostly cushions and a rainbow of hand screen printed tea towels. Since then I have taken on a huge variety of projects from developing my own line of products, to designing an outdoor canopy for a gallery and everything else in between! I am currently working on some new ideas after a trip to Mexico last October and I have just a launched a website for Makers House, a show that I curate and which I have big plans for in the coming months!

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Georgia’s process starts with sketchbook drawings that are then converted into vector graphics and applied to film.

How did you become interested in pattern and screen printing?

I first screen printed whilst studying for my A-levels and always returned to it as a means of laying down colour and texture over a large surface before adding more intricate details during my Embroidery degree. I love the immediacy of the process and I really enjoy that there is a certain level of restriction within the design process especially when I am working through ideas with paper stencils.

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A stencil is applied to the screen and then the ink is pushed though.

You seem to be keen on the hands on process of making, how does that affect your practice?

More often than not I design through making, I’ll usually have a series of drawings in my sketchbook that I then convert into hand cut paper stencils to be screen printed. I then continue to develop these ideas often bouncing around between a variety of imagery and generating lots of samples before settling on a few key ideas that are really working. This allows me to be less constrained and enables happy accidents such as inadvertently overlapped colours to occur, which often end up in final designs! My screen printed work always feels like it has more energy than the digital work and I love the idea that almost everything I make is unique in some way.

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A screen printed tray base.

We have recently started stocking your trays and notebooks, where did the inspiration come from for the design and patterns on those?

The notebooks were inspired by the remnants from industrially die cut felt that I have been working with since starting my business. It is a weird and wonderful material that is the waste product from when felt washers are cut out, the aim was to capture the shapes created when the patterns are overlaid. All of the books were riso printed and bound in London and are a limited edition of fifty. The tray pattern designs came from a series of drawings exploring the textures and patterns on a typical British beach, and the trays themselves were inspired by the sea defences in the sea side town where I have spent every summer since I was one!

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Georgia mixes her own colours at the studio and applies them to fabric. This way she can adjust and tweak the shades for her desired look.

You have an interesting colour palette that runs through your work, are there certain colours you are drawn to?

I love colour in any form, one of the best bits about screen printing is taking the time to mix colours, I have hundreds of scraps of fabric that are covered in colour swatches from past projects – they are one of the best archives of my process and I can never bear to throw them away. At the moment I am working on a new colour pallet based on a trip to Mexico, so currently there are lots of pinks and oranges on the print table spiked with soft teals and greens.

I am always drawn to an acid/mustard yellow and you can’t go wrong with a beautiful slate grey. When settling on the colours for a design I always think about the use of the final object and where it sits in the home, I felt I was able to be much bolder with my trays as they won’t necessarily be on display at all times and will usually have something on them!

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Greenwich- From The Wolfe Statue by Georgia Bosson and Cecily Vessey

We also stock your collaborative prints the ‘Landmark Locations’ series, a collaboration with Cecily Vessey. How did the idea for these come about?

Cecily was my mentor for my first market and since meeting we have worked on various pop up events and projects together including a live collaborative mural of the View from Peckham, which was done over a weekend at Crafty Fox Market. After the success of the Peckham mural and print we decided to look at expanding our collaboration and ended up working on twelve prints that we funded on Kickstarter. Whilst there are no plans for any more collaborative prints we are currently working towards a 100 mile bike ride together so I am sure some fresh ideas will crop up during the many training hours!

Your trays will be perfect for for serving drinks at summer parties! Whats your favourite cocktail?

In the summer an Aperol Spritz – very specifically served in a big glass preferably somewhere hot and sunny. And in the winter you can’t beat an Old Fashioned!

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Here Comes A City

An Interview with Marc Gooderham

As the face of London changes seemingly overnight, local artist Marc Gooderham has made it his mission to capture these views of the city, the architecture of crumbling and faded grandeur, that are beginning to vanish before our eyes. In the run up to his exhibition Here Comes A City, opening February 8th 2018, we took the opportunity to ask Marc about his paintings and his project.

What is your artistic weapon of choice? Pencil, pen, paintbrush, digital….

There are two. Naturally the paintbrush, but also the highly underrated yet extremely versatile piece of chalk!

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How long have you been painting and drawing? When did you start out?

As far back as I can remember. As a child I would sit and draw for hours. Still lifes, portraits, intricate buildings using pen and ink. The first piece of art I sold was to my art teacher at school. He kindly parted with £150 for a still life piece. As a kid, this was all very exciting. I tried not to let that first sale go to my head…honestly.

All your pieces come from real locations, mostly in London. What is it about the urban landscape that appeals to you?

I’ve always lived in London, so it’s a place I know and love. A place of intrigue and new experiences. It’s the contrast of old and new and glimmers of a forgotten time that really appeal to me.

Buildings with a fallen, crumbling exterior always hold an evocative beauty. Cities are a physical thing, they’re made up of lines and interesting forms, and the complexities of architecture and perspective can be challenging at times. But it’s all these things that make it the perfect subject to paint. Buildings command our attention. They’re our homes, places of work, places we admire and fall in love with. They help us navigate our way through life.

What is your process for working on a new piece? 

The only real way of getting to know a city is by walking it. Familiarising myself with the street level views. Making preparatory sketches and photographs. Revisiting a potential location at different times of day – sketch as much as possible! It has to have all the right components, which help make the final composition. Light and shade, suggestions of human life, a glow or reflection in a window, lights shimmering in the distance. These all give harmony and unity to a picture. Once these are in place, I begin work in the studio.

You are now working more with chalk pastels instead of painting, was there anything in particular that drew you to a new medium?

Working with charcoal and chalk pastels has been quite a liberating experience. I am still painting, producing large canvas pieces each month, again of the urban landscape.  I will always paint, however the pastel/charcoal lends itself to working quickly and more instinctively, 50% of the picture is created using my fingers.  There isn’t a lot of room for mistakes which adds to the excitement of this medium, speed is of the essence! It’s about capturing a certain feel or atmosphere and ultimately exercising the art of freehand drawing. It gives the artist a sketch – like fluidity.

Do find yourself returning to locations?

All of time. The locations are very familiar to me. Old haunts or places I have lived naturally become the subject of my work. The city is changing at such a rapid pace, there will always be a new discovery.

What is your favourite takeaway?

 Quite simply ‘Babur To Go.

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New Church Street Screen Print!

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As you may remember, back in June we ran a charity auction for The Abney Park Trust with John Gosler’s original art. Thanks to everyone’s support and efforts we were able to raise £260 for the charity. Don’t forget we still have a few of the cemetery maps and festival posters for sale if you’re interested in owning a bit of Stoke Newington history!

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While working with John on getting the auction together, we found another original in his collection. The piece was made in the same scraper board technique as the festival posters and featured a streetscape based upon the shops and buildings lining Stoke Newington Church Street. It was also done around the same time in the mid-90s to promote the Stoke Newington Midsummer Festival. We loved it so much we decided to reproduce it ourselves to sell in the shop!

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Since the scraper board left such a distinctive woodcut style texture, we wanted to pick up as much of that as possible and decided that a screen print would reproduce it best. We worked with Mark at Atom Gallery in Newington Green who printed them up for us, on  beautiful Southbank Smooth 310 gsm paper stock, hand pulling each one in a limited edition of 500. Each print is hand numbered and embossed with the Of Cabbages & Kings logo for authenticity.

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People frequently ask after locally themed prints, so we are delighted to be able to offer something drawn, made and printed right here, and exclusively available from Of Cabbages & Kings!

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Milk Tooth Statement Earrings at OC&K

It is no secret that we are pretty much all earring lovers here at Of Cabbages & Kings. Simple studs are great and everything, but to be honest we have a hard time turning down big, bold, statement earrings! We’ve just unpacked our first delivery of a new brand specialising in just that, and they do not disappoint.

Milk Tooth LDN is a fashion house dedicated to exceptional earrings and specialising in standout vintage pieces. Their first original range, The Pluralist Collection certainly creates impact.

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Inspired by striking cultural moments the designs combine a passion for gold and power dressing with contemporary patterns and bold shapes evocative of post-modern architecture. The result is a brilliantly fresh range of earrings that are both wearable, and of course, statement.

The brand’s philosophy is simple – embrace your style, wear things you love, feel amazing. Their belief is that bold fashion choices celebrate strong women and champion confidence. And with a statement earring, you have a hugely versatile and wearable option for creating a signature style.

The Pluralist Collection is a limited edition new range of gold-plated jewellery that offers distinction alongside great value. We have started our range with 4 styles, we can’t wait to see what they come up with next.

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MESH Studio with Marcelina Amelia

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On July 6th 2017 we will be hosting the official launch of MESH Studio with Marcelina Amelia here at Of Cabbages and Kings in Stoke Newington. On the opening night there will be a special pop-up shop from 5:30-9pm and the exhibition will run from July 7th until the end of August. We spoke with Marcelina to find out a bit more about MESH and the idea behind the brand.

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MESH is a multidisciplinary art brand and design studio founded by artist Marcelina Amelia: Meshing shit up!

Marcelina has taken her artwork beyond the confines of the canvass and has applied it to affordable art objects and wearable art as well as limited edition prints, books and other artworks in a range of different media. Rather than focusing on product design, Marcelina often combines her image making with found household objects to create a series of one-offs within a theme.MESH_STUDIO_GICLEEPRINTS_POSTER_MARCELINAAMELIA.jpgThe Mission Statement:

“Our aim is to embody the term ‘Renaissance girl’, and as the name suggests, we love mixing different techniques and forms, like screen-printing, fashion, painting, ceramics, publications, illustration, politics and activism, because art shouldn’t have any boundaries. We hope that this fluid and meshy structure of the brand, will allow us to collaborate more and make a lot of exciting work and happenings.

MESH’s first collection is titled The Unsatisfied Girls Club and is inspired by the recent movement of strong and powerful women who aren’t afraid to walk tall and proud, manifesting their thoughts, fighting for their rights at the Women’s Marches and other activist happenings all around the world. 

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The Unsatisfied Girls Club is a movement of women wanting and deserving more. Women uplifting each other, and rolling their eyes at the old outdated, stereotypical ways, not being ashamed of their ‘girliness’, standing for themselves and each other, because being a women isn’t a weakness. Research shows that many women are conforming to outdated stereotypes and acting ‘like an alpha male’ to succeed at work – including dressing like a man and hiding ‘girlie’ emotions.”

You can also read our interview with Marcelina on the blog from a few years ago when she had her last exhibition us.

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Abney Park Trust Fundraiser

Do you remember the legendary Stoke Newington Midsummer Street Fair? How would you like to be the proud owner of the original artwork for the 1995 and 1996 Festival Posters?

Of Cabbages and Kings are very excited to announce an exhibition and charity auction of original framed art by John Gosler to benefit the Abney Park Trust here in Stoke Newington. We have two framed artworks up for grabs, which will be on display at the gallery alongside the original illustration for the map of Abney Park Cemetery, which you may recognise as it is still in use today. 

If you should miss out on the auction do not fret as there are a limited quantity of signed reproductions of the Abney Park map and signed 1994, 1995 and 1996 festival posters available for sale.

In keeping with the original spirit of the festival, our exhibition will run from Monday 12th June, culminating with an event and the end of the auction at 4pm in the shop on Sunday 18th June.

Final bids must be placed by 4pm on the Sunday and we’ll be announcing the winners the same day. To get everyone feeling nostalgic, we’ve got some old programmes to look through alongside other festival memorabilia, we’ll be playing some familiar tunes and serving up some homemade lemonade. See you there from 3pm!

Place your bids here!

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1996 Poster Artwork
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1995 Poster Artwork

John Gosler is a freelance illustrator and former Stokey local. In 1994 John was asked to contribute a poster for the new Stoke Newington Street Festival. He says: ‘It was so brilliant (the festival, that is) that I joined the committee and did the design and artwork the first three posters in 1994, 5 and 6′.

The Stoke Newington Festival began in June 1993 as a small one day celebration on Church Street. It was such a success that by the following year it had grown into a week long event culminating on the final Sunday when the street was closed. With it’s focus on art, music and the local community, it ran for several years from 1994 to the early 2000s. Several stages were erected along the street hosting local bands and the numerous cafes and restaurants had stalls on the road running right up to Clissold Park.

John’s original images for the posters were worked in scraper board, a card surface coated with china clay and then a layer of black ink. Tools are used to scrape off the ink, revealing the white surface beneath, producing an image that looks similar to a woodcut or engraving. He then applied the colour over that with an airbrush.

Abney Park Cemetery is one of the original ‘Magnificent Seven’ cemeteries opened in the mid 1800s to service London’s booming population. It was founded on the principles of renowned non-conformist Isaac Watts and became the burial place of choice for religious dissenters and radical thinkers of the time. It has a non-denominational chapel at its heart that was open to all, regardless of religious beliefs. Another unusual feature of the cemetery is that it was set up as an arboretum, with a wide variety of trees and plants as part of its original design. This meant that when it was abandoned in the 1970s it became completely overgrown and developed a uniquely wild atmosphere. Today the cemetery is maintained as an urban wilderness and is home to a variety of wildlife, as well as operating as a public park. It has also been the setting for open air theatre events and was among the venues taking part in this year’s Stoke Newington Literary Festival, an event that has it’s roots in the original Midsummer Fair.

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All Postersf you have any old photos or other bits and pieces at home please do let us know as we are hoping to put together a festival archive. Contact Maureen Diffley at maureen.diffley1@gmail.com

Adam Bartlett – Painting and Process

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We are excited to announce our next exhibition with Adam Bartlett aka Tigers of the Universe. You may have seen his prints in the shop over the few months, and we’ll be looking forward to see what comes next! Adam will be exhibiting some original paintings alongside limited edition giclée prints. The show opens with a private view on Thursday April 13th from 6:30pm, we hope you can join us.

Adam creates his paintings by building up many layers of painted patterns to create beautiful decorative artworks.  We were able to grab Adam for a few questions to ask about his work and process.

What is your artistic weapon of choice? Pencil, pen, paintbrush, digital….
My weapon of choice is the trusty pencil, followed closely by the brush.

How long have you been painting for? When did you start out?.
It feels like I have always been drawing and painting, although previously I was a digital illustrator for 8 years. It’s only been the in last 3 years that I’ve started painting again.

You often use a combination of media in your paintings, such as acrylic, spray paint, emulsion and even enamel. How do these combinations influence your final pieces?
The various mediums are used in layers. Emulsion is the base and finally the enamel for fine details. It’s not a hard and fast process, but more something that i enjoy. Also the paints have their own strengths and combined have good contrast and character. I am often unsure of the paints influence regarding the final piece, but more often than not pleasantly surprised.

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Many of your pieces have jungle animals and lush landscapes. Are they inspired by travel or imaginary locations?
The animals and forests are pure fantasy. I long for a world covered in jungle and forests where the animals and birds can roam free. The natural world is so stunning and I want to capture this in my paintings.

You have also worked in fashion textiles and design, does this background influence your current work?
More and more I feel the influence of textiles creeping back into the paintings, not only with introducing texture again, but thinking about fabric designs etc. It’s exciting to come full circle and bring these various experiences together again, but with a fresh perspective.

Do find you that you come back to certain motifs, themes and colours over pieces?
Yes, I think its important to keep certain repetitive elements in your paintings. Sometimes I feel guilty about repeating things, as if I’m not pushing myself enough, in which case exploiting repetitiveness will suffice.

What is your favourite takeaway?
Mmm, fish n chips or shish kebab

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