Neighbourhood: Launch of Rabbits Road Press Commissioned Publications

Neighbourhood Exhibition, 19th Jul ‘17

As Rabbits Road Press came to the end of its six-month pilot project and to celebrate the project hosted “Neighbourhood”, an exhibition of some of the work produced in the space including 7 new Neighbourhood themed publications that were commissioned and produced at Rabbits Road Press. The evening also played host to “Making Art Spaces Work”, a panel discussions exploring the role of alternative art spaces. The commissions were an excellent way of drawing on the foundations we had built among local artists who used RRP and further afield to solicit Risograph printed publications. All the artists, many who were non-professional or self-taught, were new to Risograph printing when they first visited RPP. We were pleased to see that the training and equipment we had made available had made an impact as was evident in the work produced. The work produced is documented below:

‘Raíces/Roots’ by Alexandra Azúa: Raíces/Roots is a publication exploring the voices of the Latin American community in the neighbourhoods of Elephant & Castle. With increasing intolerance towards Others and the threat of gentrification that pushes locals out of their safe spaces, the voices of Latin neighbourhoods are more important than ever.

‘Magpie Project’ by Louisa Tock: The Magpie Project supports under-5’s and their mothers in temporary accommodation. The project ensures that children do not suffer long-term negative effects from living in temporary accommodation. These booklets have been made in collaboration with the children who visit the Magpie Project and will in turn been given back to them so they can see the achievement of their own artwork in publication.

‘Windows Narrative’ by Ling-Wen Yen: Whether in Taipei or London, living in an apartment means that you rarely get to know the people who live around you. This book illustrates the windows in Ling-Wen’s neighbourhood. The transparent paper imitates a window and allows us to see the things that people place on their windowsills.

‘Impressions of Forest Gate’ by Lia Rees: E7 is a lively and eclectic place which never stands still. "Impressions of Forest Gate" is a visual and textual snapshot of the area as it is now. The book is created in a collaborative spirit with interviews from familiar names and lesser-known figures. It features art from local artists and historical images, and touches on aspects of Forest Gate's culture, art and music scene.

‘Doing Forest Gate Differently’ by Leah Lovett: Doing Forest Gate Differently was inspired by the cultural theory of bell hooks and created in collaboration with local children during an open workshop at Forest Gate Community Garden on 10th June, 2017 in which the children drew their local area from the lying-down tree in West Ham Park, to the dinosaurs of the Wanstead Flats – and over every bridge and wall in between.

 ‘Queens Market: Portraits of a Community’ by Sahra Hersi: Featuring original interviews, photography and architectural illustrations ‘Portraits of a Community’ documents a local market community under threat from developers.

‘Welcome! A tour of my London’ by Sadie St. Hilaire: These ‘ guided tour’ illustrated zine features local highstreets and scenes from the area as experienced by the illustrator.

Making Arts Spaces Work: The panel discussion that accompanied the exhibition explored the role of alternative art education spaces and how they contribute to building creative communities. The lively Q&A was useful in understanding ways of working towards developing a meaningful community art space at Rabbits Road Institute. The panel discussion featured Susan Mackie and Anne Robinson (See Red Women’s Workshop, 1974-1990), Harun Morrison (They Are Here) and Ben Messih (South London Gallery).