Pipe / Weed
Y, Birmingham International
You are invited to the premiere screening of “The Quest for Bronze Tanning”, a new moving image artwork created by artist Verity-Jane Keefe which explores Wood Street, E17, , scratching the surface to try and unpick the particular character of the place through it’s architecture, it’s residents and it’s history.
It will be screened in the 14th Walthamstow Scout Hall. Private view on Wednesday 20th, 6.30 - 9.00pm and matinee drop in between 2.00 - 6.00pm Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th March 2013.
Bronze Tanning Studio, 38 Wood Street now houses a pound shop, nestled inside the bright orange shell of the former tanning salon. This mysterious permutation provides the starting point for Verity’s journey to uncover the hidden stories of the shopkeepers, the businesses and the premises that they occupy. Produced over several months, Verity has woven together beguiling vistas and candid ancedotes into a unique portrait of a place in flux, and in doing so offers a glimpse into users attitudes to place amid a wider program of regeneration and a changing role of the high street as we know it. It is inspired by shifting trading patterns across this local high street over several decades; the ways we remember, and by turns, romanticise, respect and neglect the past.
Several traders and service providers were invited to discuss this change using a script of questions that look use the bronze tanning studio as a way in to a wider discussion. Their premises momentarily transformed into a film location.
Throughout her residency Verity led several walks and produced three editions of a fanzine for Wood Street which highlighted research as it unfolded. Issue 3 will be launched and distributed at the screening alongside re-printed issues 1 and 2.
THE QUEST FOR BRONZE TANNING forms part of WOOD STREET INSIDE OUT – a programme of public projects seeking to enhance the character of Wood Street, delivered by a creative team led by East Architecture. This programme is restoring heritage buildings and providing new lighting, signage, planting, play areas, street furniture and high street frontages as well as commissioning public art projects which are connecting and animating diverse communities and spaces in the neighbourhood.
WOOD STREET INSIDE OUT is supported by the London Borough of Waltham Forest and the Mayor’s Outer London Fund, which is helping increase the vibrancy and growth of high street places across London.
14th Walthamstow Scout Hall
205a Wood Street
RSVP to email@example.com or 07817 302637
Accidental etched mountain range, John Lewis window, Sheffield
The Wood Street White Elephant
Birmingham to Sheffield, teaching
As part of my wider moving image commission in Wood Street, E17, I have made a contemporary version of a Retail Survey for Wood Street. Based upon a 1963 survey that I found in the archives, it represents data from then and places it along side the same data from today, 50 years later.
I’ve uploaded a separate PDF of the table here:
Issue #2 The Quest For Bronze Tanning is here. 200 Copies have been printed and hand finished at The London Centre for Book Arts and will be distributed along Wood Street at the beginning of next week. I’ll post a list of shops that are stocking it again as some have changed.
For now you can read an online PDF version via this link:
Here’s some sample spreads
THE QUEST FOR BRONZE TANNING
This is the second edition of three fanzines made by the artist Verity - Jane Keefe for the people of Wood Street, Walthamstow: the people that live here, work here, travel through here, go to school here or simply just like it here.
I am making a filmwork about Wood Street. In essence, it will be a portrait of place, looking very closely at the physical fabric of the area as it is now, whilst acknowledging what used to be here.
This series of fanzines highlights research from the project as it is unfolding. The Quest for Bronze Tanning is my journey to find out the hidden stories of the businesses and their premises.
Inside this edition you will find a retail trade survey that takes data from a survey conducted in January 1963 by the council and places it alongside a record of today’s traders, 50 years later. I have collected this data from trawling up and down the street. The information represents a slice of trading as is found today. Local history records and old Kelly’s Directories (a Victorian version of Yellow Pages) show that a lot of businesses have come and gone along Wood Street, some lasting less than a year, others thriving for over 60 years. Some premises host the same type of business but tenants have changed. Just like today, vacant shops could be found along the 1960’s High Street. This new inventory shows how Wood Street in its versatility has adapted to meet the needs of its users: swapping gown manufacturing for a community centre, a fishmongers (with it’s own smokehouse) converting to frying fish and chips.
The information presented here is not conclusive, it is very much a work in progress and an artist’s interpretation of Wood Street as I find it today and as told by its shopkeepers.
If you like what you see and have any comments, or simply want to find out more, visit these blogs:
The first issue of my fanzine has been distributed up and down Wood Street and is available in limited quantities from the following shops who have kindly agreed to distribute it for me. There are only 200 physical copies, so you’ll have to be quick to try and grab one
Lynn’s Hair Fashions, 225A Wood Street
Wood Street Tyres, 190 Wood Street
Wood Street General Stores, 168 Wood Street
Lot 107 cafe, 107 Wood Street
Missprints, Unit 1, Wood Street Indoor Market, 98 Wood Street
Second Nature Wholefoods, 78 Wood Street
Razors, 46 Wood Street
DNS News, 40 Wood Street
Woodside Cafe, 30 Wood Street
Peter Pan dry cleaners, 14 Wood Street
Wood Street Library
Here’s the first edition of my fanzine for Wood Street. Issue #1: A Butcher, A Baker, A Candle Maker.
200 editions are being distributed from various shops up and down the street over the coming days. I’ll update with a list of locations by the end of the week. A further two editions will be published and distributed in the coming weeks.
You can read it on one of those snazzy PDF websites here if you’re not one of the lucky 200 who get hold of a physical copy:
A BUTCHER, A BAKER,
A CANDLE MAKER
This is the first edition of three fanzines made by the artist Verity - Jane Keefe for the people of Wood Street, Walthamstow: the people that live here, work here, travel through here, go to school here or simply just like it here. Wood Street is host to roughly 200 businesses, only 4 of which are high street chains. This is a very unique ratio and the starting point of this project.
This series of fanzines highlights research from the project: details of the area that I like and that I feel give Wood Street it’s incredible character, along with archival research and soundbites from one to one interviews.
I am surveying the local shopkeepers and workers, asking about their unused and hidden skills. Some of the first responses can be found inside this fanzine. In addition I am researching Wood Street’s past: what was the fried chicken shop originally? Has there always been such a diverse spread of businesses?
The Wood Street fanzines will be distributed by various businesses along Wood Street. If you like what you see and have any comments, or simply want to find out more, visit me at Unit 5 in the Wood Street Indoor Market, 100 Wood Street or visit these blogs:
Sample spreads from fanzine:
Simple pleasures 2