I'd heard some good stuffs about the Chatsworth Road Market, which is held every Sunday, on surprisingly, Chatsworth Road in Clapton. So with a fresh twenty pound note in my purse, off I went to peruse the vintage treasures, crafty bits and bobs, and stuff my face with the homemade goodies which were on offer.
The amount of stalls was slightly underwhelming, and I felt the selection of goods was a little uninspiring and I was a bit disappointed when I arrived - maybe I got there too late (the market runs 11-4pm, and I arrived just after 2.30pm).
I think after working in vintage, and spending almost every spare second absorbed by some aspect of vintage I've become a little bit jaded by it all, as I felt completely indifferent to what vintage bric-a-brac and clothing wwhich as on offer. But maybe that's me just being a cynical vintage wench...
HOWEVER... There were a few stalls I found genuinely interesting, such as Benjamin's Butterflies, a selection of darling glass pendants filled with butterfly wings (actually sounds a bit sinister when explained, but they really were cool).
Chatsworth Road itself is the paradoxical mixture of pound shops, chicken shops with the odd sporadic middle class bohemian coffee shop or boutique thrown in, which I have come to expect as the norm in places like Hackney and Hoxton. It feels like there is a potential for a Broadway Market type affair- infact, after speaking with some of the stall holders, I learnt some of them actually sell there too.
For now, it makes a nice change from the ever increasing crap which seems to have sprung up on Brick Lane market, and it was nice actually being able to actually interact with the stall holders and amble along at a leisurely Sunday pace rather than being shoved and elbowed around, again, like at Brick Lane market. I think it's great that they are obviously trying to create a sense of community in an area which undoubtably has its cracks, but probably gets a worse press than deserved.
O.K. So I'm not going to start pretending that I'm a totally switched on zine/comics/ illustration geek, which seems to be a prevailing trend right now, but hey, I can appreciate an articulated picture, and well thought out story, no matter how quirky/political/controversial. And with this in mind off I went to the International Alternative Press Festival, at Conway Hall. It's a cute button of a building tucked away in Red Lion Square, marketed as a landmark for London's independent intellectual, cultural and political life - which would explain why I'd never heard of it.
The hall in which the fest was taking place was actually kinda small for the amount of stalls, which meant I knocked into a number of people as I stumbled around, with my rucksack taking people out left, right and center but it gave the whole event a sense of buzz and intimacy, which essentially worked.
I have to admit, I was drawn to the more feminine, pretty-pretty girl zines and illustrators, as demonstrated by my photos, but there was a whole heap of styles and stories, and a broad scale of seriousness and mentalness (a zine which shouted in bold, heavy type from its front cover '101 WAYS DIANA COULD HAVE DIED' was one example of something a bit more insane on offer), which made it interesting stuff. Not to mention an upstairs library, where one could finely contemplate a whole bunch of zines, without the feeling that you were being watched by their protective authors like at the stalls.
SARAH JULIA CLARK
Zines. Hot off the press (or photocopier)
Pin Cushions of Hate... I can't remember who made these beauts... soz.