A 'work in progress' exhibition at the SPACE gallery in Mare Street, Hackney will show headway on an ongoing history of the print trade in east London, as well as inviting former-print workers along for a festive get together.
The National Lottery funded Lightboxes and Lettering: More Follows exhibition opens at SPACE on Friday 7 December, with an open invitation to those who worked in the print industry to come along for a drink and chat on Saturday 8 December from 2pm to 6pm.
Organisers Rendezvous Projects hope that the East London Print Industry Get Together social event will attract those who worked in the industry in Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest and surrounding areas. They have already interviewed many local print workers and gathered a fascinating archive of images and oral histories.
"Hopefully, the day will see old friends and colleagues re-connecting, as well as further interesting stories and material for our archive," says lead artist Lucy Harrison of Rendezvous Projects. "There is such a rich history of the print trade in the area and lots from the industry will have lost touch and moved away. Many former-print workers will now have moved to Essex and Kent. This is a great chance to re-ignite friendships and talk about the print trade as it was in its heyday."
The exhibition is aimed at anyone with an interest in print, design or local and social history, but Rendezvous Projects also hopes to collect yet more images, memories and printed matter related to the print trade prior to 1995. They are looking to speak with anyone who worked in the industry or had experience as a customer or in a related industry - such as print supplies, paper or print finishing.
"The print trade is such a rich part of east London's industrial history," says Lucy Harrison. "The technology of print, design aspects and the finished products all provide a fascinating insight into the evolution of the print industry in the area, from closed-shop union print-works to radical presses and commercial, artists' or community print shops. It has been a fascinating project to work on and we look forward to meeting more print workers during the show."
Printers who want to get in touch but can't make the event or exhibition can contact the project on [email protected] or 07537 180033.
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