Saturday, 1 December 2012

Show & Tell...

For one day only at the end of October, South London came to East London courtesy of Visual Artist and Graphic Designer Son Emirali, with his personal and nostalgic installation entitled 'Foster's Newsagents.'

For Son, Foster's, a 90-year old newsagent's in the heart of Brockley Rise, formed part of his childhood, an after-school treat, a meeting place, and a constant on a return home from university.

So in an homage to this special place, Son decided to create a fully documented inventory of every item in pictorial and illustrative form. Over several days he painstakingly listed and recorded every item from M&M's to McCoy's, Rizla to the Racing Post.

The common, and touching thread in the making of this piece was the pride and meticulous attention to detail, that not only Son took, but the obvious pride the owner has in presenting these everyday items.

We had the chance to speak to Son at the 'WeHeart' exhibition in Shoreditch, which showcased a selection of new designers. He talked of the pride of the family-run business, the owners hand-on-heart in the main image, and about the sadness that he may have to close the newsagent's due to the ever-increasing expansion of larger brands and supermarkets on the high street.

This made the process all the more poignant for Son, and important to showcase this special place, somewhere that can easily be overlooked and under-appreciated.

For the exhibition, he put together a limited-edition book of the inventory, as well as a life-size photograph of the newsagent's interior, a challenge, he said, not only to print, but to transport across London without damaging it!

The installation, wrapping around three walls skewed the perspective, and added a slightly abstracted view of the interior when stood within it, almost enveloped by the colourful array of sweets and treats, tempting to the eye, but untouchable like a museum piece.

For us, the most interesting and creative work has a strong personal connection, and Son perfectly showcases these elements in a heart-felt way, and it's understated, quiet approach is symbolic of the very subject matter he has celebrated...

Son's homage to Foster's Newsagent's is available as a limited-edition book, and large-scale photographic prints here...