‘Create Souvenirs are significant, and well-considered, they encapsulate a place and time and force us to consider what it means to commemorate.’
– New York Times
Thorsten van Elten worked with five leading east London designers and artists to create a range of affectionate, irreverent mementos that celebrate the area’s cultural heritage in 2012.
As a welcome antidote to the throwaway mass-produced souvenir, these solidly crafted pieces, all proudly made in the UK, were commissioned to inspire fond memories for decades to come, and aimed to support and celebrate east London design and UK manufacturing.
HOUSES BY BARNABY BARFORD
Barnaby Barford created a set of five miniature, two-sided, bone china figurines, each depicting a different local landmark – homes, shops and a public house – on each side. Each of the 10 locations tells a fascinating story about east London history including a house on Cable Street, the scene of fascist clashes in 1936; E. Pellicci, an Italian café in Bethnal Green that has been in the same family for over one hundred years; the Golden Pound pound shop; the Blind Beggar pub; and the former home of Benjamin Waugh, the founder of the NSPCC.
Barford is known for reconfiguring found porcelain figurines to create more contemporary objects.
COCKNEY RHYMING BADGES BY ED CARPENTER
Ed Carpenter designed a series of colourful gilt and enamel badges that celebrate the art of Cockney rhyming slang. Sold in sets of three, there are three limited edition collections available based on the subjects of food, work, compliments and profanity.
Carpenter also designed the celebrated Pigeon Light.
EXCERCISE BOOKS BY DONNA WILSON
Donna Wilson designed a set of three “exercise” books, with illustrations of people doing exercise, loosely related to the 2012 Games. Living and working in east London, Wilson is very familiar with its parks, lido and cyclists, and she shared tips for parks and pools on the books’ back covers.
Wilson is known for her collection of knitted creatures and cushions, and was named Designer of the Year at the 2010 British Design Awards.
SOUNDS OF MAKING BY DOMINIC WILCOX
Dominic Wilcox created a vinyl LP, itself pressed in Hackney, celebrating the act of making things and the unusually high number of skilled craftspeople based in east London. Sounds include: “The sound of making an outfit for Lady Gaga in Hackney”, “The sound of a book binder at work in Walthamstow” and “The sound of a record being pressed by a company which had to relocate from what is now the Olympic Park”.
Wilcox’s previous work includes War Bowls, made from melted plastic army figures, and Watch Sculptures, which perch on the faces of wrist- and pocket-watches.
REGENT’S DOMESTIC BOLLARD BY ANDRÉ KLAUSER
Canals have played an important role in the development of east London, and its canal-sides have recently become enormously popular for holding events, cycling or just lazing away a weekend afternoon. André Klauser created a multi-functional bookend/paperweight/doorstop based on the mooring bollards along east London’s canals. Klauser’s bollards were cast in solid iron by a foundry on Regent’s Canal, near Broadway Market, that has previously cast fences for the British Museum and the National Gallery.
Klauser’s other work includes the Mechano, a chair inspired by the aesthetics of industrial shelving.All Create Souvenirs were commissioned by Create.