The Fishwick Papers is an exhibition of 50 original works that speaks to the commercial print and industrial tradition that once dominated Hackney Wick and Fish Island.
The show was put together by printers of an altogether different sort: a collective of artists called East London Printmakers that now thrives in the area where many of London’s industrial printmakers have downsized or moved out to more economic locations.
The idea behind The Fishwick Papers was conceived just earlier this year by gallerist William Chamberlain and curator Katja Rosenberg – herself a member of the East London Printmakers.
Katja briefed her fellow artists to go and take inspiration from the area, their experience of it at this moment, its past and future, the many lives of people unknown.
Go out they did and Katja has been delighted by the response. “I am always surprised, when I curate a show, how each artist will come back with things I would never even imagined,” she says.
“For this exhibition, I have loved how much they took a wholehearted interest in the area and community. It was very immediate and so varied – one contacted remaining printers, another took out photographic paper and held it against ships, railings and ropes along the canal, others have taken inspiration from Fish Island.”
The result is a collection of works which will appeal to the widest range of tastes. You will see Dickensian-style etchings reminiscent of old London; compositions of walkers strolling in the Olympic Park; striking shellfish, intricately etched; abstract images pressed quite literally against objects along the canal side.
The resulting exhibition is a fitting tribute to the creative and industrial heritage that inspired it.