Exploring my favourite local neighbourhoods.
In the summer of 2022, I was made redundant after 13 years of service. It turned out to be a fantastic opportunity to take stock and – sounds cliched – explore new opportunities for my art at least. I started lots of new projects (such as painting London’s lost rivers) and one of those was to explore London through its signage. I started with my immediate area, Nunhead, with some sketches. I discovered one can tell a lot about an area and its people and history through the signage, such as looking at: the age of different signs; what name, service or company they are advertising; any imagery or graphics they include; and the use of other languages and wordplay.
Brixton and Elephant & Castle in south London are two places I know well and have much affection for, and it was such a joy to create more detailed pieces which required me to explore these areas for interesting and insightful signs. Both areas are subject to a lot of changes recently but they have mostly resisted having ‘clone’ high streets dominated by chains, allowing independent and community organisations and companies to thrive. It is this diversity that my work seeks to celebrate and record. Most of the signage is current, but in the case of E&C, it’s a bittersweet record of places recently lost to redevelopment.
Both images were drawn on an iPad Between July and November, just before I started full-time work again.