One extremely positive thing to take from the past year is just how much local communities have come together to support each other through these difficult and uncertain times. We are very lucky here in Stoke Newington to be surrounded by a whole bunch of strong and supportive independent businesses who have been there to lean on and give us a leg up through three Lockdowns. This last one has definitely been the hardest for us all. We are so proud to be part of this creative and colourful neighbourhood. N16 shops and businesses have joined forces to create this short video to show our community just how much we’ve missed everyone. Here’s to a brighter future!
London, The Big Smoke! Love it or hate it our capital inspires so many of our artists. From its architecture and people, to all its different boroughs – London is huge! This city of 9 million people has something for everyone. So with this post we have highlighted a few artists that look at different aspects of the city. These London themed prints make great gifts for those that live here and also as memories for those who have moved away.
Marc Gooderham is fascinated by shop fronts, street corners and a forgotten London. His pastel works and paintings presented as series of limited edition prints explore the city’s streets along with its decaying and unique architecture. They capture the singular beauty to be found in those neglected and overlooked spaces.
- The Pheonix Garden – £95.00
- Rainy Night, Brick Lane – £125.00
- Fall Of Night – £125.00
- Shop all Marc Gooderham prints.
Liam Devereux is a commercial illustrator, originally from the north of England and now based in London. He has created work for American Express, Lloyds Bank and Audi among others, whilst developing a unique style in his spare time. The Nighttime Series comprises of scenes largely around North London where he has lived for the last ten years, but has begun to spread further afield.
Mike’s drawings are produced digitally using a combination of design software and a pen tablet. The designs for the maps were inspired by engraved prints from the 19th century that Mike has appropriated with a contemporary twist.
- Hackney Retro Map Print – £40.00
- Bridges of London Print – £54.00
- Islington Retro Map Print – £40.00
- Shop all Mike Hall Prints.
Will Clarke meticulously develops intricate landscapes and views of Britain’s cities and most loved locations. Will’s work primarily focuses on location and place, which he explores through a range of mediums including printmaking, architectural drawing and design. He characteristically uses bold graphic additions of colour to add different dimensions to his illustrations.
- Westminster – Gold – £160.00
- Battersea Power Station – Green – £40.00
- Southbank, London – £40.00
- Shop all Will Clarke prints.
Jane Smith is a freelance artist and commercial illustrator based in Dalston, East London, working in design, advertising, editorial, publishing and charities. Often inspired by travel and cityscapes, her personal work crosses over media and disciplines, from to digital sketches and drawings, to wood engraving and linocut.
Underway Studio is an illustration and printmaking collective based in Brixton, South London. Founded in 2015 by six graduates as a space to continue working and developing as young designers, the collective works collaboratively across silk-screen, lino and digital print mediums. The current members of Underway Studio are: Aiden Barefoot, Anna Schmidt, Caitlin Parks, and Melissa North.
- Brixton Rec – £120.00
- Rio Cinema – £85.00
- Tate Modern Blavatnik Building – £85.00
- Shop all Underway Studio prints.
London is an amazing city. Did you know that almost half of its area is made up of green spaces? 33% of this is natural habitat for animals and wildlife and 18% is public open space1 which includes 3,000 parks. Yes 3,000! That’s more than the area of the city covered by railways and roads combined2. It’s easy to think of London as being miles and miles of concrete, but look closer and you see a whole host of parks, fields, woodlands and canals sides. Below we have gathered together a selection of ideas to help you navigate this green space. So pick a sunny day and start planning your next city ramble.
This little pocket guide to London’s Green Spaces from Hoxton Mini Press is a selection of the best parks and green spaces London has to offer. With stunning photography by Marco Kesseler and text by Harry Adès. It features places to visit from central London to some of the outer boroughs. A great idea for planning a walk, taking a picnic or just enjoying the fresh air. Detailing 50 locations, you will find a new green space to fall in love with.
If anyone can inspire an adventure it’s Liz Loveless of Factory Press. This charming screen print of the River Lea is full of summer colour. Bright yellows, blues and greens come together in this idyllic scene. Signs of the city are not far away though, as iconic buildings are dotted along the banks and electricity pylons loom in the background.
The River Lea – £95
There are some notable trees to look out for in London and with this map you can track them down. With details of 50 trees, follow this guide on a tree hugging quest. Rare species, magnificent English oaks, an ancient yew and the finest flowering cherries. From Kew Gardens to Greenwich Park, and Tottenham to Brixton. With beautiful photography, introduction and descriptions from London based plant lover Paul Wood.
This surprising guide will introduce you to 32 edible plants that are just on your doorstep. Take to the streets and go urban foraging! Organised by season, it contains 32 easy vegetarian recipes. Hawthorn berry ketchup, cherry blossom shortbread, nettle ravioli, elderflower fritters and cowslip summer rolls to name a few. Clearly written by professional forager Wross Lawrence, this guide will have you serving up some unusual meals throughout the year.
A cyanotype print of a coat. Image: Liz Loveless – Factory Press
Ahead of our upcoming exhibition with Liz Loveless of Factory Press we take a look at cyanotypes. In this show Liz presents us with a selection of artwork involving the cyanotype process. But what is a cyanotype and how are they created?
A cyanotype is a photographic process involving chemicals on paper or fabric that produces cyan blue prints. It was discovered by Sir John Herschel in 1842 as a way of reproducing drawings and diagrams such as architectural blueprints. Cyanotypes are a type of contact print which means the actual image being reproduced is placed directly over the paper. This opens it up to a whole host of creative possibilities, not just reproducing drawings, but using 3D objects. Liz uses this to great effect in her cyanotype works. Everyday objects such as bikes, coats, bottles and vegetation are used to create prints with a unique one-off quality.
A bike being exposed under a UV light onto treated paper. Image: Liz Loveless – Factory Press
To create a cyanotype a mixture of potassium ferricyanide and ferric ammonium are combined to create a photosensitive solution that is then applied to paper. This is allowed to dry in the dark to avoid exposure until it is ready to use. To create a print you must expose this coated paper to UV light, for example sunlight. This then creates a chemical reaction in the parts that are exposed to the light then darkening them. When fully exposed the chemical coated paper is then rinsed under running water. This washes away the unexposed chemical that was in shadow leaving a blank space, surrounded by the blue that was exposed to the light.
A large palm leaf being exposed in sunlight. Image: Liz Loveless – Factory Press
The most simple way of creating a cyanotype print is to lay objects on to your coated paper and then expose to sunlight. You can experiment with any objects. The more solid an object and the closer it is to the paper the more crisp a result you will get. Further away or less solid an object you will begin to get fuzzier edges. This is most apparent when using natural materials like leaves and flowers. Their 3D quality creates an unpredictable silhouette that fades from crisp dark blue to pale blue blurs. After the cyanotype has had an appropriate time in the sun (this can vary depending on the strength of the sunlight) it is then rinsed under running water and left to dry.
Finished print being rinsed. Image: Liz Loveless – Factory Press
You can also book a spot on our Cyanotype Workshop – 2-4pm Saturday 14th March 2020.
There are many things here at Of Cabbages & Kings to fill your whole year with new discoveries, experiences and learning. What better time to find a new obsession! Here we present a collection of our best new year ideas, from learning a craft or getting out and about, to decorating your home interiors.
Learn To Screen Print
Ever thought about trying screen printing or wondered how it was done? Then look no further then these Screen Printing Kits. Great for creating your own t-shirts, tote bags or prints, they come in two sizes A4 and A3 and are perfect for starting a screen printing adventure at home. For a how-to-guide follow our simple instructions: How to Screen Print with Stencils. They include: a 43T mesh count wooden screen, a wooden square 75 shore squeegee and 100ml white and black water based screen printing ink for printing fabric, paper or card.
Want to take your screen printing to the next level? Try this Screen Printing – The Ultimate Studio Guide from the team at Print Club London. Expert tips for for printers of all levels of experience and ability.
A4 Screen Printing Kit – £36
A3 Screen Printing Kit – £48
Take A Workshop
Workshops are a great way of gaining an amazing experience and learning directly from talented teachers. Of Cabbages & Kings along side our sister shop Knit With Attitude offers a wide range of workshops ideal for learning a new skill in 2020.
Roderick Vere is a silversmith based in Somerset who, with his keen eye for detail and creativity, designs and hand makes contemporary silver jewellery. He also offers Silver Ring Making Workshops here in Stoke Newington. In a 2 hour workshop you will be taught how to cut, shape and finish your own silver ring. The workshop is the perfect introduction for anyone keen to try jewellery making using traditional silversmithing techniques. At the end of the session you will have a completely unique piece of silver jewellery made entirely by you!
Learn Some Local History
We stock a wide range of books that take a creative and insightful view of our surroundings. Being based in East London we are especially interested in books with an East London focus and local history or art projects in the neighbourhood give us the most inspiration. Collector’s books like the East End in Colour series by independent publishers Hoxton Mini Press provide a photographic snapshot into how the East End looked between the 60s – 80s and 80s – 90s, while Once Upon a Time in Brick Lane looks at the documentary photography of Paul Trevor, capturing the life of Brick Lane during the 70s and 80s,
The Gentle Author in East End Vernacular presents a magnificent selection of pictures – many never published before – revealing the evolution of painting in the East End and tracing the changing character of the streets through the twentieth century.
East End Vernacular – £25
Keep A Diary
While dates are important, keeping a diary in 2020 doesn’t all need to be about birthdays, and dental appointments, it can also be used as a journal for day-to-day memories, dreams, ideas and inspirations. These Layflat Weekly Planners by Ola come in two colours: Navy Shapes and Orange. They are designed with undated pages so you can start at any time year, making them great for both the calendar or academic year. Featuring 52 undated weekly spreads, each minimally styled with columns for to-do lists, room for evening plans as well as free space for notes.
Go On A Walk
Getting out and about is even more fun with a sense of purpose and destination. Try these themed London Maps and go on a voyage of discovery. With an architectural look at the capital, one side is printed with the map and the reverse contains facts and images of each of the buildings featured. Subjects include Brutalism, Art Deco and even the London Underground.
Brutalist London Map – £8
Art Deco London Map – £8
Crafting is a great way to challenge yourself this new year. From the most simple to the more complex, craft provides a mindful way to while away the hours.
We stock Design Stencils that allow you to recreate the iconic shapes and typographic styles of the Art Nouveau, Art Deco and Bauhaus movements. They’re ideal for all sorts of craft projects, such as card making, scrapbooking or just illustrating your favourite notebooks.
If you’ve wanted to take up drawing, or just like to doodle in style then choose one of Ola’s Layflat Notebooks and a Set of Colourblock Pencils. Using Ola’s stylish patterns these soft cover notebooks are crafted with a sewn layflat binding, allowing you to work across two pages simultaneously, and the book to rest open at a chosen page. Ola’s Colourblock Pencils are cleverly colour coded between different grades and we have them in 3H, HB and 3B. For more information on pencils check out our Pencil Guide blog post.
Art Nouveau Design Stencil – £12.50
Bauhaus Design Stencil – £12.50
The year has just started but there’s no reason not to start dreaming of warmer months, getting out into the garden and what to grow this year. Even if you don’t have a garden houseplants can always do with a bit of TLC. Two things to set this dream in motion are Seed Collecting Kits and House Plant Care Cards.
Seed Collecting Kits are designed for organising and storing your seeds. This handy tin contains 20 wooden seed labels, 20 seed envelopes, a mini plant dibber and pencil. Time to tidy up the shed!
Take proper care of your plants with House Plant Care Cards. Always failing to keep things alive? Well with this ultimate guide to growing happy plants you can’t fail. The Houseplant Care Cards are a boxed gift set containing 35 cards packed full of advice and tips for botanical success indoors.
Seed Collecting Kits – £14.50
House Plant Care Cards – £12.95
Have Some Big Ideas
Jump-start your brain in the new year with the Thames & Hudson The Big Idea Series of books. This innovative and informative series take a look at the fundamental ideas that impact our lives and world today. Cleverly designed to make the reading approachable and engaging. The series features: Is Masculinity Toxic?, Is Gender Fluid?, Is Democracy Failing?, Will AI Replace Us?, Is Capitalism Working?, Should We All Be Vegan?, What Shape is Space? and Is Medicine Still Good For Us?
The Big Idea Books – £12.95 (each)
Make Some Scented Candles
Are you a fan of scented candles? Ever wondered how you can make some yourself? Make Your Own Candle Kits of course! A great way of chasing away the January blues, not only rewarding in their making, but also in their use. These kits make two 9cl Votives so you can make one for yourself and one for a friend. Scents come in Rose Geranium, Fresh Fig and Christmas Spice.
Each kit contains everything you need to create two scented candles: Soy wax flakes, fragrance oil, glass jars and wicks. The simple instruction leaflet explains exactly how to make your candles with ease, making this a thoughtful gift for any creative person.
Make Your Own Candle Kits – £18 (each)
Take Care of Nature
Looking after nature is a rewarding past time. Every little way we can encourage wildlife is a positive one and there are many ways in which we can do this, like giving homes to solitary bees or providing food for small birds in winter.
You can encourage solitary bees into your garden by using bee hotels like this Bee Brick by Green&Blue, available in Charcoal and White. Solitary bees don’t produce honey or live in hives, but they are responsible for a third of all the food we eat, because of the vital pollination they carry out. Bee Bricks are inspired by the natural way bees reproduce and so contain cavities in which solitary bees can create their nests. One female solitary bee will potentially use around 5-6 cavities, laying 5-7 eggs in each one.
To feed the birds try these stylish Birdball Belle Feeder’s by Green&Blue, designed to take suet fat balls. Made in the UK this feeder allows small birds such as tits, sparrows, nuthatches and finches to feed while deterring larger birds and available in four different colours.
Bee Brick – £27
Birdball Belle Feeder – £26 (each)
Learn Some Art Theory
Want to learn more Art Theory this year? Then this series of Art Essentials Books by Thames & Hudson is for you. Focusing on key artistic movements and ideas, these clearly written books are more than just informative, they also beautifully designed with full colour imagery throughout. They will certainly make your book shelf look smarter! A must for reading before the next pub quiz, or for brushing up on your Mastermind specialist subject. The series includes: Surrealism, Modern Art, Women Artists, Pop Art, Key Moments In Art, Street Art, Looking At Pictures and Impressionism.
Art Essentials Books – £10.95 (each)
Decorate Your Home
The new year is a great time to address that troublesome bare wall in your home or get that print you’ve had lying around framed up. If you’re looking for the perfect artwork for your interior then shop for Prints online or come visit us in our Stoke Newington store. With an ever changing series of exhibitions and events you are guaranteed to find something that catches your eye. Check out our Shows Page for current exhibitions.
Happy New Year!
We have seen recently a lot of design trends taking inspiration from architecture. Two styles that have proven popular are art deco and brutalism. Both rely on strong bold lines and confident use of graphic shapes, along with a creative approach to materials. The shapes and details that go into characterising these artistic movements are drawn upon by designers and makers, infusing their pieces, be it prints, jewellery or stationery with a unique twist or contemporary edge on a familiar style.
Art deco is a style of visual arts that originated in the 1920’s and developed into a major art movement across Europe and America. Influencing architecture, furniture, jewellery, fashion and cars, its aim was to be modern, with an anti-traditional elegance. Often simple and very graphic, with bold streamlined shapes, it is strong, powerful and celebrates modern materials.
Metro by artist Chris Homer is an abstract composition of screen printed gold, grey and black in a striking halftone and geometric pattern. The strong graphic style of Chris Homer’s work has a very modern feel, but still with an air of art deco elegance.
Brass and Bold are a London based brand founded by designer Elsa Gomez. Her designs are made from raw brass and painted brass, and explore the simplicity and honesty of materials. Taking inspiration from the clean lines and contrasting colour of the art deco movement, she produces stylish and contemporary jewellery perfect for your next cocktail party!
The 1920’s style of art deco is characterised by bold lines, shapes, and angles. You too can recreate that look, with this handy Art Deco Design Stencil. The art deco inspired typeface and shapes are perfect for all craft projects, such as card making, scrap-booking or just illustrating your favourite notebooks. A great gift for tweens to adults.
City guides are aimed at the ‘urban explorer’. This two-sided folding Art Deco London Map features over seventy leading examples of art deco architecture in London – from Eltham Palace to the Hoover Building. Art deco landmarks such as Broadcasting House, 55 Broadway, and Senate House are included along with Charles Holden’s finest Underground Stations and more. The reverse side of the map features an introduction to art deco by Henrietta Billings, photos by Simon Phipps and details about each building.
Achieve a modern look with echos of a geometric art deco style. These brass Pineapple Pots and steel Convert Vases are ideal for adding a metallic touch to an interior. Made from a thin sheet of metal which is carefully folded and converted into shape by hand at Another Studio in London, the Pineapple Pots are perfect for holding a small succulent or cacti.
The mid-century architectural style of brutalism divides opinion. Descending from modern architecture it is characterised by monolithic block-like shapes, often celebrating the rawness of material, especially concrete. It is heavy, stark and solid.
There are many examples of brutalist architecture in London and one notable building is The Hayward Gallery on the Southbank. Sitting along the banks of the River Thames it forms part of the Southbank Centre. The Hayward has become a brutalist landmark and artist Will Clarke has captured it beautifully in his detailed illustration. It is screen printed in two colours, a combination of black lines with luscious gold ink elements.
Tom Pigeon is a creative studio founded by Pete and Kirsty Thomas in 2014. Designing simple and well-considered products across accessories, prints, and stationery.
Among these is the Béton range of jewellery – a unique unisex collection from Tom Pigeon Studio. Popularised by Le Corbusier, the term béton originates from the French ‘béton brut’ or ‘raw concrete’ and this hand-crafted solid silver jewellery is influenced by the strong lines, hidden angles, and sharp shadows of brutalist concrete architecture. Its matt finish also gives a nod to the rough texture of raw concrete.
Produced to scale (5000 times smaller than the real buildings!) this bookmark set from Another Studio celebrates four fantastic London brutalist buildings: Trellick Tower, Barbican Tower, Space House, and National Theatre. A great gift for every architecture lover and perfect for a Secret Santa or quick stocking filler.
Fans of the movement will certainly love this Brutalist Calendar 2020. A limited edition monthly celebration of some of the most awe-inspiring and influential examples of brutalist architecture from around the world, it will provide connoisseurs of concrete with twelve months of brutalist bliss!⠀
For those brutalist adventurers who are keen to explore these pick-me-up maps are ideal. Also featured in the range are Washington, Paris, Sydney, and London.
Studio Nilli is the brainchild of industrial designer Huw Williams. Based in North London he produces 3D printed plant pots from bioplastic, an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional plastics.
These little pots are stylishly designed and celebrate the ribbed texture created by 3D printing. With a nod to Scandinavian design, they are minimal, light and elegant. We stock three colours of the Studio Nilli pots, White, Dark Grey and Teal. With five different sizes to choose from, there is sure to be one to fit any corner of your home.
We have asked him a few questions about his process and inspiration as well as looking at the pots in closer detail.
How did you get into 3D printing?
I’ve always been interested in 3D printing a tool for designers to prototype and test their concepts, but I didnt get the chance to experiment much with one whilst I studied Industrial Design and Technology at Brunel Uni. I bought a cheap kit printer from China to learn more about it back in 2016, and through testing the boundaries of my machine and experimenting with different printing techniques I started printing pots for my plant collection (which was fairly out of control back then).
How does your design process start? Through drawing or digital?
The design process is pretty fluid for me, but I do like to start with sketching as the main medium. I have several sketch books, but mostly I draw with whatever is available when something triggers an idea. Once I have an idea sketched out, I’ll make a card model or jump onto the computer and start drawing on Illustrator, or onto a 3D design package.
What inspires the shape of your designs?
The original origami pot shape I started Nilli with was a natural progression from some origami textures I modelled for a project at Uni. After graduating I experimented with casting cement into single use card moulds, even did some slip-casting moulds for ceramic pots, before deciding it would be a great form for the pots I 3D print now. The leggy pots come from a love of mid-century modern design and Scandinavian influences. I think the main thing that excites and influences me is how to use the materials and process of 3D printing in a unique and novel way, contrasting with other materials and textures, using the process to produce forms that would not be possible with other forms of manufacture.
Tell us about the bioplastic you use?
So the plastic I use is a common 3D printing material – PLA or Polylactic Acid. It is a bioplastic, which means that it is produced from organic materials like sugarcane or cornstarch. This is fermented to produce lactic acid (the same stuff that gives us cramp after too much rigorous exercise), which is then polymerised – lots of lactic acids chained together – to make polylactic acid. The main benefits of using this plastic is that it is a renewable source of material, does not use petrochemical fuels as a base so is non-toxic, so when printing it doesn’t release any harmful gases – it actually smells like sugar when printing. It will also biodegrade faster than normal plastics, over around 500 years it will break down naturally, or it can be industrially composted and it will return back to its base organic compounds in a few days. I also recycle waste that I produce into jewellery, coasters and hopefully larger items soon. It’s a minimal amount, because 3D printing is an additive process and there is not much waste involved, but I think its important to use as much as possible!
Lets take a closer look at the pots:
The Small, Medium and Large Geometric Planter’s have a strong graphic shape, almost origami like. These pots sit flat on a surface, with a cork base to stop scratches. They are not only plant pots, perfect for those succulents and cacti! Use them for anything from storing pens and pencils on your desk, to a tidy for make up brushes or accessories.
The Tall and Short Legged Panters are the curvaceous cousins of the Geometric Pots. Clean and modern shaping, with a distinctly mid-century modern feel. These pots sit proudly on two sizes of beeswax finished wooden legs. The plump curves, satisfyingly hugging the legs, create a pleasing synergy between the two materials. The White Planters have beech legs and the Dark Grey have walnut, giving a complimentary natural feel.
Find more Studio Nilli planters at ofcabbagesandkings.co.uk
Ahead of their upcoming show: Printed Spaces: East London Edition at Of Cabbages and Kings (12 April – 5 June 2019 and kicking off with a Private View – 7pm – 9pm, 11 April 2019) we have asked them a few questions.
Underway Studio is a collective of four artists based in Brixton, London. They work collaboratively on screen printed works, with a strong graphic feel that often has an architectural theme. With ‘Printed Spaces: East London Edition’ they explore the architecture of London’s cultural spaces, featuring new prints with an East London focus.
To see more work by Underway Studio take a look at our website here. If you do get a chance come by the shop and check out the show.
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 …
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!
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!
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!
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’.