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).

Neighbourhood Exhibition + Making Art Spaces Work

Rabbits Road Press is coming to the end of its six month pilot project and to celebrate the project we'll be  playing host to Neighbourhood, an exhibition of some of the work produced in the space including 6 new Neighbourhood themed publications that were commissioned and produced at Rabbits Road press earlier this year. The evening will also play host to Making Art Spaces Work, a panel talk exploring the role of alternative art spaces. 

Saturday 19th August ---  6.30-10pm --- Rabbits Road Institute,  835 Romford Road, E12 5JY

The event is free but spaces are limited, please RSVP here:

7pm: Making Arts Spaces Work

What is the role of alternative art education spaces and how can they contribute to building creative communities? Join us for a series of presentations and a panel discussion exploring the conditions for a successful art education space. Share your own perspectives as the discussion opens up to a public Q&A and help shape Rabbits Road Press as we work towards developing and nurturing a meaningful community art space at Rabbits Road Institute.

Susan Mackie and Anne Robinson (See Red Women’s Workshop, 1974-1990) See Red Women’s Workshop was a womens silkscreen printing collective that produced posters, illustrations and calendars, and did service printing for the women’s movement and community groups. The group aimed to promote women’s empowerment and challenge the negative stereotypes of women. Working collectively was central to the ethos of See Red, as were sharing skills and knowledge with other women. The posters produced explored the personal experiences of many women; from housework, childcare and sexuality, to sexism and racism, as well as wider international struggles for change.

OOMK (Rabbits Road Press) Rabbits Road Press is a community risograph print studio and publishing press run by OOMK (Sofia Niazi, Rose Nordin and Heiba Lamara). The project is based at Rabbits Road Institute, within Old Manor Park Library. The small-scale publishing press provides printing and book binding services for artists and community groups in Newham and beyond. The project builds on Rabbits Road Institute’s initiative to establish an accessible and diverse community art space to support the development of new skills, knowledge sharing and social exchange for people living in Newham.

Harun Morrison (They Are Here) They Are Here is a collaborative practice steered by Helen Walker & Harun Morrison. Often extending their collaboration to include those from all walks of life, They Are Here work across media and types of site particularly civic spaces. Institutions they have developed or presented work include: Rabbits Road Institute, Camden Arts Centre, CCA Glasgow, Furtherfield, Grand Union, Konsthall C (Stockholm), National Theatre Studio, South London Gallery and STUK (Leuven, Belgium).

Ben Messih (South London Gallery) Ben Messih is a London-based curator working with communities. Currently managing South London Gallery's Heritage Education Programme, Ben is interested in decolonial approaches to gallery education and the role of institutions as sites for solidarity with local struggles. He has previously held positions at the Serpentine Galleries and the Biennale of Sydney.

Anatomy Lab

We were joined by two lovely groups of people yesterday for our Anatomy Lab workshop at the Be Magnificent Summer School. Using collage packs that had been specially designed and produced at Rabbits Road Press, participants explored the emotional anatomy, as well as physical anatomy, of the human body.

For the afternoon session we were based at Waltham Forest College and worked with creatives from Headway, a charity supporting people with brain injuries, and students from the college. The evening workshop was an open public workshop at the William Morris Gallery. The collages produced were pretty stunning and we even got a change to make individual GIFs for each person. Below are just a few examples of the collages that were made, too many lovely works to fit in! 

Open Call: Artist Commissions

Rabbits Road Press are seeking proposals for Risograph printed publications responding to the theme Neighbourhood. There are 3 awards of £200. The publications will be launched at the Rabbits Road Press exhibition on 19th August 2017.

The deadline for proposal is 21st May with winners being announced Monday 22nd. Selected artists are expected to have finished their books by 19th July 2017, Rabbits Road Press will work with the artists on the presentation of their work as part of an exhibition. The edition size may vary but we will need 6 copies to be donated by each commissioned artist to be housed in Rabbits Road Press and selected Newham libraries, archives. However, you may wish to produce more copies as part of your edition that can be distributed or sold as you wish. Selected artists must be available to take part in the exhibition on the 19th August. There will be an artist’s fee of £200 for your time and expenses and towards the production costs of the edition. 

For guidelines and to apply please visit the Commissions page. 

Newham's First Zine Fair

Last week Rabbits Road Press hosted Newham's first zine fair, with exhibitors from all over London and beyond exhibiting and selling self-publied zines and artwork. The event was attended by zine makers and locals alike, as well as checking out the work on offer it was a chance for us to welcome people into the space and talk to them about the risograph printing and the bookmaking facilities we have on site and invite them to return on a Tuesday for a free induction.  Amongst the exhibitors, we were particularly excited to have Open Access regular Sadie selling her book which she had been working on at Rabbits Road Press. We're looking forward to lots more independent publishing action coming out of Rabbits Road Press in the following month! 

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Seed Packet Making

We were approached by Maslaha to deliver a seed packet making workshop for a group of local parents who they have been working with on a food project. The workshop was probably the funnest we've ever done, once equipped with the basics of Risograph printing the local mums took over Rabbits Road Press and after a lot of chatting, tea drinking and biscuit eating they produced this gorgeous collection of seed packets.  

Zine World

Zine World is coming to Rabbits Road Press! 

On March 25, from 12-6pm, Rabbits Road Press will be hosting Zine World, a free zine and small press fair, at Rabbits Road Institute. Over 25 artists and zine makers will be exhibiting and selling their work. There will be an exhibition of over 50 risogrpah posters which have been made during RRP’s Open Access Tuesdays by local residents, students, artist and anyone else who has popped in and learned how to make a two-colour risograph print. Plus a chance to make your own print on the day. The fair is free to attend and open to all! If you’d like to sell your work please fill in this application form by March 3rd:

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Introduction to Book Binding with Rahel Zoller

We invited Rahel Zoller, Book Arts and Design Specialist Technician at London College of Communication and part of the ABC [Artists’ Books Cooperative], to deliver a book binding workshop at Rabbits Road Press. The state of the codex book in contemporary society is a current theme of her work and she is deeply interested in the latest innovations happening within publishing. During this workshop participants learned how to fold and manipulate paper using specialist bookbinding tools and learned three versatile book structures. 

Risograph Book Making with Eleanor Vonne Brown

We were delighted to invite Eleanor Vonne Brown to lead the first workshop at Rabbits Road Press. Eleanor is the founder of X Marks the Bökship, a bookshop and project space for independent publishers in London. She lead a risograph printing and book making workshop using our perfect binding machine for 10 people on Saturday 11 February.

X Marks the Bookship-

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Open Access

Rabbits Road Press is open to the public every Tuesday during term time from 2-7pm. Come in, have a look at the exhibition and sign up to be a member of Rabbits Road Press for FREE! All new members are given a 1:1 Risograph printing induction upon arrival, where they will have the chance to make a two colour print and take 5 copies away (no booking required, just show up). Once members have been fully inducted they can find a price list for paper and printing costs up in the space, members are welcome and encouraged to come and use the facilities every Tuesday 2-7pm and to work on their own projects, basic art materials are provided. The press is open to all and we have members from as far as Chicago, no printing or art experience is required. 

Newham residents are eligible for discounted printing rates, please bring ID.  

Rabbits Road Press Launch

After much preparation, research and furniture assembly we were delighted to launch Rabbits Road Press last week and finally open the doors to the public. We had a wonderful turnout of local people, Risograph enthusiasts and many familiar faces from our OOMK network. Rabbits Road Press will be open to the public every Tuesday from 2-7pm for free 1:1 drop-in Risograph inductions and for Open Access studio use. A programme of workshops and events will be announced over the next few weeks. See you soon!

Photography by Steph Jed