Sunday, 22 January 2012

Amy Lord's Takeaway Shop

Amy Lord's Takeaway Shop:
The Takeaway Shop is a project by Amy Lord at number82, the art space at 82 Tanners Hill in Deptford. Amy explains:
'What do you know about where you’re living, where you wake up every morning? Archives are often unruly, dusty masses of paperwork and words locked away to keep them safe. What if you learn about the most interesting bits straight away? And more importantly, be able to TAKE them AWAY with you? This will be a place for people to drop in and learn craft activities including book-binding and paper-making, and to collect real stories about the lives of the local residents, families and the history of the area. It will be a place to meet. People that come into the shop will learn how to create individual handmade books and be able to cut, paste and assemble their favourite bits of text, pictures, true stories, people and textures, to create THEIR own mini TAKE-AWAY archive.
I think it’s important to know the area you live in, it’s history, what came before it, and who lives here now. It’s the context in which you are positioning yourself, and your life'.

Amy Lord (standing) leads a book-making workshop

Essentially Amy has collated images and text relating to the history of Deptford and the surrounding area, from which people are invited to make their own selection. Materials and instructions for making your own books are provided.

The Takeway Shop runs until 27th January 2012, open from 12 noon - 5:00 pm on Sunday, 10:30am – 6:30pm weekdays (except Tuesday when it's closed), with a late night until 8 pm on Friday 27th January as part of South London Art Map tour. Workshop places are free, but you need to book in advance to be sure of getting a space at

The book I made
I enjoyed making a book, and was impressed by Amy's obvious knowledge. There have been a number of artist-based projects linked to aspects of Deptford's history in recent years, and sometimes they can be quite superficial appropriations. Amy has clearly put the hours in and developed quite a collection of material, much of it unfamiliar to me (and I've been studying this stuff for years). I think she is right that getting an understanding of the history of an area is a good way of orienting yourself in a place that may be new to you. That's certainly what got me started, and indeed Transpontine has been partly about sharing some of my developing understanding and learning more through interaction with commenters and other local bloggers.

One of the images used in the Takeaway Shop - Pyne Brothers drapers store in Lewisham High Road (now Lewisham Way) in 1891. This stood opposite where Lewisham Arthouse stands today (previously Deptford Library)

Detail of above photo - note the windows advertising Costumes, Mourning, Drapery and Dresses. Note too an entrance through to the New Cross Public Hall, a major public building of the time which must have been behind the store (where among other things a Grand National Christmas Fair took place in 1884)

Posted from Transpontine

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