Thursday, September 24, 2015

Deptford High Street re-presented

The Academy of Urbanism has shortlisted Deptford High Street in its Urbanism Awards 2016. The awards aim to recognise "the best, most enduring or most improved urban environments". The Academy has visited and assessed "over 100 outstanding examples of good urbanism" in the UK, Ireland and Europe – and our high street is one of 15 finalists.

There are five categories – European City, Great Neighbourhood, Great Place, Great Town and Great Street. Deptford High Street has been shortlisted for the latter category, along with Cairns Street (a residential street in Liverpool) and Oliver Plunkett Street in Cork. The winners of each category will be announced on November 6th at the Academy's Awards Ceremony.

Update 9 November: The 'Great Street Award' was won by Oliver Plunkett Street in Cork. For more info on the winners click here.

Tower of Babel by Barnaby Barford
© V&A
Meanwhile, the high street is one of many represented in Barnaby Barford's Tower of Babel at the V&A. Barford has created a six metre tower out of 3000 individual hand-made bone china buildings, each depicting a real London shop. Barford calls it a snapshot of our times; it "forces you to think where you fit into this hierarchy of consumption". Expensive shops and galleries make up the top part of the tower, with the cheap shops at the bottom. Creative Review notes that "It feels apt that it is the cheaper stores that are the easiest to examine at the base of the sculpture, as arguably these are the most unique, compared to the high street chains and even fancy boutiques that are out of sight higher up". There are 32 Deptford shops at the base of the tower.

Each of the small models are for sale, varying in price from £95 to £6000. You can browse the Deptford shops via the online V&A shop – they vary in price from £110 to £250 and, at the time of writing, over half have sold but you can still pick up Kids Love Ink for £210.

Deptford High Street also features in the child-like drawings of Jeanette Parris, who is 'lead artist' at this year's Deptford X. For last year's festival, Jeanette "spent time talking with local residents and stallholders at Deptford Market" and her depictions of those conversations were printed as a comic  and handed out free. This year she has "been building on these conversations" to create an animation called Brief Encounter.

A scene from Brief Encounter © Jeanette Parris @ Deptford X 2015

The theme of this year's festival is 'Deptford Conversations' and Jeanette will be talking about Deptford with 50 other 'guest' artists about what they feel is relevant to it. Deptford X runs from 25th Sept to 4th Oct.  Follow on Twitter @DeptfordX and Facebook. Also see the Deptford Dame's round-up.

Meanwhile, local fears about gentrification of the high street are demonstrated in the leaflet below that was distributed in last Saturday's market...(click to enlarge).

1 comment:

  1. I don't understand the appeal of those things by Jeanette Parris, perhaps I'm missing something