On the final day of Amp Envelope, join us for a discussion with John Phillips from the Museum of Unrest.
The 1970s and 80s witnessed an unprecedented outburst of locally-based poster making globally. Today this tradition remains vital in certain contexts such as Chicano culture in the USA and the Hong Kong umbrella movement. As a poster designer at Paddington Printshop (1975 - 85 ) John frequently exchanged his own posters with fellow designers, which grew into a significant collection. John will bring examples from this archive to the discussion.
Informed by Adam Shield’s long-term interest in self-publishing and DIY production processes, Amp Envelope carries forward the possibilities of publishing and print-making to generate new spaces of experimentation, collaboration and exchange. For The Showroom Mural Commission he took as a starting point a period of research into local, radical grassroots print presses in North West London, including The Poster Workshop on Camden Road which ran from 1968-71; the Paddington Printshop and later londonprintstudio on Harrow Road, amongst others.
Each used vibrant imagery through poster campaigns and a wide array of printed matter to amplify local voices, often focusing on housing rights and neighbourhood initiatives, as well as gigs and festivals. Often providing platforms for articulating resistance to the status quo, self-publishing continues to enable trans-local countercultures and subcultures to distribute alternative narratives via low-fi handmade means.
Amp Envelope explores processes of self-publishing as a site and generator of public discussion and exchange. A series of free public poster-making workshops focused on drawing, collage and print have been running within the exhibition space since July as an integral part of the show. Enveloping the exterior walls of The Showroom, Shield’s hand-printed grid creates a layout device which is being used to locate and position the posters that have been produced and blown up to varying scales. The mural evolves as new posters are pasted up and layered over time; a live work-in-progress accumulating throughout and beyond the timeframe of the show through to Summer 2023.
Having worked in the Church Street area for several years as a technician at The Showroom, these workshops build on Adam Shield’s research processes and The Showroom’s established connections to people and groups within neighbouring organisations, including the Church Street Library, the Sunflower Coop and the Penfold Hub. The workshops also build upon Shield’s existing partnership as one half of Long Distance Press, a postal art project with artist Thomas Whittle that quickly turned into collaborative works, publications and exhibitions between Glasgow, Newcastle, London and Edinburgh.
This event celebrates the final day of the exhibition and marks a new phase for The Showroom Mural Commission as it continues to evolve through to July 2023.
John Phillips (b.1951) is an artist based in UK and France. John co-founded and worked at Paddington Printshop West London (1975-89), was Director of London Print Workshop/londonprintstudio 1989-2021, and is currently Director of lps21 and the Museum of Unrest. He has a PhD from the University of Brighton.
His work is held in a number of public collections including Victoria & Albert Museum, the International Institute of Social History in Amsterdam, and Rhode Island School of Design Museum. Working at Paddington Printshop in the 1970s and 80s John designed many posters with and for west London community organisations.
Adam Shield (b. Newcastle Upon Tyne) lives and works in London. He studied at the Royal Academy Schools (2014-17) and BA Fine Art at Newcastle University (2007-11).
Selected recent exhibitions include BLAST BEAT, with artist Thomas Whittle as Long Distance Press (LDP), Priestman Gallery, Sunderland, 2021; Drawing Biennale, Drawing Room, London, 2021; Dark Silo, Thames Side Studios Gallery, London, 2020; A Very Long Wait, Newchild Gallery, Antwerp, 2020; Greetings, LDP, Mauve Gallery, Vienna, 2019; Expo Dream Leech, Drawing Room, London, 2019; IMAGE DRUM, LDP, Royal Academy of Art, London, 2019; Terraforms, Kristian Day Gallery, London, 2018; Chumming, The Pipe Factory, Glasgow International, 2018; Hands Roots, Hawkins, London 2018; Drop Shot, LDP, Fetes College, Edinburgh, 2017; Bearing Liability, Strange Cargo Gallery, Folkestone, 2017; RA Schools Degree Show, Burlington House, London, 2017; Premiums: Interim Projects, Royal Academy of Art, London, 2016; Let’s Get Inside Everything, Milma, London, 2016; and RIFF, Baltic 39, Newcastle Upon Tyne, 2014.
Shield has co-curated exhibitions including Greetings, Mauve Gallery, Vienna, 2019; Drop Shot, Monomatic, Edinburgh, 2018; Chumming, The Pipe Factory, Glasgow for Glasgow International 2018 and IMAGE DRUM at The Royal Academy of Art, London, 2019.
The Museum of Unrest is an internet hub and educational resource for artists, designers and communities engaged in social and environmental justice. The project is sponsored by lps21 (aka londonprintstudio) and will be launched later in September 2022.
Currently the Museum of Unrest has neither roof nor walls, it is homeless, stateless, global and in need of friends, allies, collaborators, contributors and supporters. If you would like to help them shape this new resource, email the team with what you would like to see and share, and introduce yourself.
Image: John Phillips, Hey you get off my cloud, event announcement, 2022
4-4.10pm: Introductions, Lily Hall, Curator, The Showroom & artist Adam Shield
4.10-4.40pm: John Phillips: introducing posters of protest and celebration from the Paddington Print Shop, the londonprintstudio, in context and beyond
4.40-5.15pm - Q&A
5.15-6pm - Refreshments in the Studio
This event is organised in partnership with the Museum of Unrest