12 – 18 June 2017 at Of Cabbages & Kings
127 Stoke Newington High Street, N16 0PH
Of Cabbages & Kings are happy to announce an exhibition and charity auction of original framed art to benefit the Abney Park Trust in Stoke Newington. The pieces include original artwork for the 1995 and 1996 Stoke Newington Midsummer Festival posters, which will be up for auction and the original illustration for the map of Abney Park Cemetery, still in use today, which will be on display. In addition there will be a limited quantity of signed reproductions of the Abney Park map and signed 1994, 1995 and 1996 festival posters available for sale.
In keeping with the original spirit of the festival, our auction and exhibition will run from Monday 12th June, culminating with an event and the end of the auction at the shop on Sunday 18th June.
John Gosler is a freelance illustrator and former Stokey local. In 1994 John was asked to contribute a poster for the new Stoke Newington Street Festival. He says: ‘It was so brilliant (the festival, that is) that I joined the committee and did the design and artwork the first three posters in 1994, 5 and 6’.
The Stoke Newington Festival began in June 1993 as a small one-day celebration on Church Street. It was such a success that by the following year it had grown into a weeklong event culminating on the final Sunday when the street was closed. With its focus on art, music and the local community, it ran for several years from 1994 to the early 2000s. Several stages were erected along the street hosting local bands and the numerous cafes and restaurants had stalls on the road running right up to Clissold Park.
John’s original images for the posters were worked in scraperboard, a card surface coated with china clay and then a layer of black ink. Tools are used to scrape off the ink, revealing the white surface beneath, producing an image that looks similar to a woodcut or engraving. He then applied the colour over that with an airbrush.
Abney Park Cemetery is one of the original ‘Magnificent Seven’ cemeteries opened in the mid 1800s to service London’s booming population. It was founded on the principles of renowned non-conformist Isaac Watts and became the burial place of choice for religious dissenters and radical thinkers of the time. It has a non-denominational chapel at its heart that was open to all regardless of religious beliefs. Another unusual feature of the cemetery is that it was set up as an arboretum, with a wide variety of trees and plants as part of its original design. This meant that when it was abandoned in the 1970s it became completely overgrown and developed a uniquely wild atmosphere. Today the cemetery is maintained as an urban wilderness and is home to a variety of wildlife, as well as operating as a public park. It has also been the setting for open air theatre events and was among the venues taking part in this year’s Stoke Newington Literary Festival, an event that has it’s roots in the original Midsummer Fair.
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