Inspiration for Stitch – Part 2 – The East End of London

In this second post about my inspiration I take a look at the East End of London, and my love affair with the Grimsby Street area. The street is situated in E2 and shares its name with my hometown. In the early 2000s both my sons lived in London so I was a regular visitor. My younger son, Sam lived in Hackney at that time and had come across Grimsby Street E2 when visiting a friend nearby. The next time I visited he took me there and it was love at first sight.

Here are some of the images I fell in love with. They may seem strange. It’s quite rundown, but an art school education taught me to look and to see beauty in the smallest detail and to enjoy the ‘out of place’. When I look at these vistas I see my next piece of work.

The images above inspired pieces that depict the then, the now and the journey in-between. The first pieces I made were East End Chair and Closed pictured below.

East End Chair is a portrait of my Grandmother Annie Jane Smith sat in an abandoned armchair nursing a fish. My hometown of Grimsby is best known for its connection with the fishing industry and the fish represents the prosperity the fishing industry brought to the town.

Closed depicts the demise of the Grimsby fishing industry. The closed shop sign represents the end of the town’s prosperity after the Cod Wars in the 1950s and 60s.

This series made in 2012 combine 2 or more images to represent the passing of time and the transience of life. A Girls Day Out, East End Girls and RIP Grimsby St E2 version 1 & 2.

East End Girls combines an image of my grandmother, Alice Ann Stone, her daughter Madge and my Mum Muriel May Sone with an image of 2 abandoned east end sofas. It’s 128 cms wide x 104 cms high.

A Girl’s Day Out for Hilda, Nellie and Ida combines an image of 3 Grimsby sisters Hilda, Nellie and Ida with an image of Grimsby Street E2 graffiti by graffiti artist Stik.

RIP Grimsby Street E2 versions 1 & 2 chronicle the knocking down of part of Grimsby Street E2 in the run up to the 2012 London Olympics. An analogy between 2 different eras and 2 different environments .1930s Grimsby girls meet London 2012

The ever changing images of street art are fascinating. I have now been documenting the area for more than 10 years. Part 3 of the inspiration for Stitch posts will look at my documentation of the South Bank and more recent pieces inspired by the East End.

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