What is your name?:
What do you do:
I write romantic comedy with my partner Stefan Georgiou. We've got our feature film Dead Cat coming out on March 11th 2016. It's available on Vimeo On-Demand.
Where are you based:
I'm live on Clifden Road, and I work in the crypt of the Round Chapel on Lower Clapton.
What do you like the most about Lower Clapton:
I Iike the variety of breakfast. A weekend breakfast in a cafe is my favourite. Which is probably why there's so many scenes of people eating breakfast in Dead Cat.
I also like that everyone seems to be doing something there's lots of music nights, people opening shops and restaurants it just feels like everyone takes a chance here.
Links to website and social media:
Use the ones I sent before.
Watch Dead Cat on Vimeo here
Dead Cat Website
Twitter Dead Cat
Facebook Dead Cat
Watch the Dead Cat trailer
Chris Roberts photographed October 2014
Shelf in artist Chris Roberts' studio
Artist Chirs Roberts in his garden on Mayola Street, Clapton. Photographed October 2014
CHRIS ROBERTS - ARTIST AND EDUCATOR
CURRENTLY EXHIBITNG AT 119 LOWER CLAPTON
The café 119 Lower Clapton run by Erica Routledge, is beside being a great coffee bar across the road from our studio, also a suitable venue for exhibitions. We me up with the friendly Chris Roberts who is the artist behind the current exhibition, which runs until 13th November.
What’s your name and what do you do:
My name is Chris Roberts, in my job, I’m the Programme Director of the Foundation Art & Design course at Central Saint Martins (the new building at Kings Cross) and I’m also an artist and maker of things.
Tell us about the current show at 119 Lower Clapton:
The work on display in the exhibition is the culmination of about two and a half years of tinkering in my studio with bits and pieces of materials (and things I printed or made myself) that I’ve collected over the last few years. I often re-work objects or sculptures several times so they can end up being developed over a long period of time.
The work has been made in series, so there are relations between all the works including materials in common and imagery that links them directly. I often like to work with a ‘set’ of materials until they run out.
Is the artwork made to fit the space?
No. But interestingly some of the materials used to make the work share commonalities with the furniture and fixings in the space. This is partly how I proposed the show, I kind of said to Erica who own the place ‘I have some work that would look great on your walls, and some of it looks a bit like you interior décor!’
When it actually came to installing it though, I did what I always do for a show like this and brought more than I needed and played around with various layouts until I was happy. Its actually quite a large space and really bright, perfect for exhibiting art work really.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
It comes from all kinds of places but primarily from the urban environment. That may be in the form of textures, shapes, materials, imagery or text. I take a lot of photos that serve as primary research, but I collect things and look all the time.
Is it important to you to have a salary job as well as being an artist? Why?
My father is an artist. He has never had any other form of income (aside from my mothers) and whilst I was growing up I guess whilst I liked the idea of being an artist or someone creative, but crucially I kind of knew that I wanted a job of some sort. When I went to art college, I guessed the next best thing to being a student was to be a tutor, that way you get to work in an exciting and changing environment all the time and keep up to date with what’s new in the world of art and design.
I knew I didn’t have the absolute drive or determination to be a self funded artist so the arrangement for me as artist and educator makes sense and works. I love what I do for a job, and in turn what I do as an artist is both related to it and informs it in equal amounts. It is a privilege to teach. My colleagues and students alike inspire me and fundamentally it pays the bills.
Where are you originally from? How was it to grow up there?
I’m from Scotland. I was born in Edinburgh and grew up just outside it on the edge of the Pentland hills. It was pretty remote, four miles from the nearest village. I had a mixed upbringing, one of the rural as the house my parents had was a former farm whilst we had a constant connection to Edinburgh. Consequently, I’m at ease in both urban and rural places, either busy or not.
You now live nearby Chatsworth Road. How long have you lived in the area?
I’ve lived here (on Mayola road) for 18 months now, although my wife and I have lived in and around the area for getting on 14 years. My son was born at home here almost a year ago.
What do you like/dislike about it?
I like how quiet it is at night, I like how few cars come down my road, I like how friendly people are in the area, I like how many new places are opening and it’s always changing, I like the energy that people in the area have, I like the fact that almost everything is an independent enterprise, I like that it is so close to the river.
I dislike the fact that it is prohibitively expensive to buy a house here now.
What would make your neighbourhood better?
I wish they would close the road for the Sunday market like Broadway market does now. They do it at Christmas and it’s so nice to just wander around Chatsworth road. Between Chatsworth road and Lower Clapton Road though there are some amazing places to eat drink, and get your groceries – you really don’t have to leave the area for anything.
Do you have favourite place in the area? What do you like about it?
Aside from all the open space nearby and the river, I really like the Plough pub on Homerton high St. the guys who run it are really nice, friendly people. It has a real laid back feeling to it and the food and music played are always excellent, not to mention the beer which is always superb. And they do wicked cocktails.
119 Lower Clapton
Chirs Roberts Blog
All photographs © Jørn Tomter / tomter.net
WRITER: Julie Køie
PHOTOGRAPHER: Jørn Tomter
(The story first appeared in I Love Chatsworth Road magazine issue 3 available to order here.)
Waine grew up in Lower Clapton and has lived in the area ever since. He makes music, paints, draws, design clothes and writes poetry. He is currently setting up his own website, and manages a band that gigs at small venues around London. He’s been creative on many levels since childhood, and later sought to pursue a creative career-path founded in his multiple and cross-disciplinary interests in the arts.
“I’m the artist in my family. It started with music, but I get inspired by everything. I am experimenting with different forms of art, like origami, printing, making clothes, murals and ceiling art, and painting on glass. I learn with my eyes, from people around me, to nature, flowers and birds, and I read a bit about everything out of curiosity. Right now I’m reading books about strategic marketing, Greek philosophy, one about elegance and ‘The Da Vinci Code’. Anything can trigger me really, and I’m still learning. Knowledge is important. If you’re not arrogant, but listen to other people, that’s when you get something.”
“In my teens I was into Renaissance art, looking to Michelangelo, Raffaello, Caravaggio, and da Vinci. I then started learning about the different art movements like Dadaism, Bauhaus, Surrealism, and abstract art and saw how they applied art to many different areas, being Jacks of all trades. I started doing all of it during the advanced Art and Design course at high school. In the beginning I couldn’t really paint, but I had good tutors who taught me, and it felt like great achievements.”
“I am currently working on a business plan and setting up my website, documenting everything I’ve done up till now. It’s always good to have a uni degree, but I think it’s more important to have a good portfolio, good ideas, creative flair, and a good reputation through word of mouth. But it depends on what you really want as an artist. There are lots of artists here, working from their garages, who want recognition, locally, and on a global level too. Everyone has their vision of success. I’d like to have my own artistic space and music studio, separate from my house, a good foundation for working with the different art forms. And success for me right now would mean to do more shows in bars, and to be working with other artists. For the future, and once I’m settled with my skills, I dream about having my own creative spot, a bit like Professor X from X-Men, who teaches the youths to use their own skills and creativity.”
“A lot of people want to be in the creative league, in music etcetera, but the youths don’t know that they have to work their skills. It’s not all glitz and glamour. An artist like Donatello used to smash a lot of his artworks ‘cause they’re weren’t good enough. Michelangelo carved out sculptures from massive blocks of marble with his own hands. They deserved that recognition. Some people think they can skip that work. Feel unique and different. People are famous and stuff, but it’s not coming from love. Art got me through. When I felt low, I was fortunate to have it...and it gets chicks. Ladies love art.”
Waine's flat is like a big canvas. His walls and ceiling are full of drawings. Here he is going through his sketch book.
Some of Waine's sketches.
View from Waine's flat. Millfields Park on the right. There used to be a dog race stadium where the estate is in the corner of the photo. Before the dog race, the stadium was the home to Clapton Orient Football Club - called Leyton Orient toay.
The second year of Hackney Jumble Trail is almost upon us, we caught up with founder Martina Randles at the Round Chapel to unearth some of her local leanings and delve into the concept of Jumble Trail.
Who are you and what do you do?
I'm a artistic soul with a love for the human spirit, I post flyers through too many peoples doors (no more steps) and champion Hackney Jumble Trail.
What is the story behind Jumble Trail? Who else is involved?
I was working in a job where I had absolutely nothing to do, I would sit and wait to be given work, I used that space to dream up Jumble Trail. It was a culmination of my experiences from time spent in Bristol (art trails), Melbourne and New York (garage/yard sales), and an ingrained appreciation of jumble. The idea that you don't need lots of money to have taste is something that has fortunately stayed with me. Matt my business partner came on board last September, and has been monumental in pushing the concept forward. Tom has been fantastic on the graphics side, a valuable friend and member of the team.
Will Jumble Trail go big? Will you go global?
Hopefully massive! The website is designed so that anyone can set up a Jumble Trail, they charge what they like and recoup most of the cash (we take a smaller percentage to cover running costs). If they decide they don't want to charge its totally free. We really want communities to adopt the concept and make it their own. The recent Leyton event championed by Marietta Gende was so well promoted, it really proved that with hard work you can get something quite special off the ground.
When is the next Jumble Trail in Clapton? What can people expect from it?
It's this Sunday, eek! (3rd August, 11-4pm), people relaxing and chatting to each other, bargains, delicious home cooking. If its anything like last year lots more people outside their houses milling around and enjoying themselves.
What is the best thing about Jumble Trail?
Good natured folk, people at their kindest.
How can people get involved in Jumble Trail? Can anyone have one on their street?
Its really easy to be involved you just turn up! It you want a stall thats pretty easy too, you register online here - Jumble Trail - ideally before Saturday 2nd August! Anyone can set up a Jumble Trail, anywhere! Thats the beauty of it. Just by walking down the street you become part of the event, part of the atmosphere, its for everyone to enjoy.
Where is your favourite car boot sale?
Cheddar Gorge, it's massive, as big as two fields with a big indoor section and sells just about anything, its in a really pretty part of the country and I've had some amazing purchases there. I highly recommend it. In London I like the jostle of Holloway car boot, Stoke Newington and Battersea, not forgetting Rushmore School Sunday Market I've been there when stalls have given everything away for free at the end, I acquired a leopard print coat and sequinned corset.
What do you like about car boot sales?
Random conversations with complete strangers, wonderful unexpected treasures, not knowing what I'll unearth, the sheer joy of falling in love with an object, its nostalgia and craftsmanship, cute dogs, whacky characters, ending up with more tat then I need, fresh air.
Where is your favourite place in the Chatsworth Road area?
Definitely the stone circle/filter beds on the marshes, great place to spend the solstice. Sunday shopping for treasures at Rushmore playground, herring and potato gratin at Cooper and Wolf, magazines and damson jelly at LBJ, wonderful wildflowers at Botany.
Register for Jumble Trail
Jumble Trail on Facebook
Jumble Trail on Twitter
Jumble Trail on Instagram
Photos by Jørn Tomter / tomter.net
What is your name and what do you do?
Matt Waites, Sound Effects Editor/Music Producer. I create, record and edit sounds for TV and Film as well as make music.
Where are you from?
Originally from Durham, UK
How long have you lived in the area?
Lived in Clapton for about 3 years.
What do you like about it?
The fruit & veg shop, The restaurants/cafes, Chatsworth Supermarket. The Marsh.
What can be improved?
A fishmonger, maybe a late bar with music & comedy. Would also love to see a record stall at the market. Other than that we pretty much have everything!
I thanked him again for the waffles."
Last week Jorn and his green raincoat came round to my house on Rushmore road. He took photos of me while i fixed my typewriter. We talked of typrwriters, cluttered desks, empty desks, phototgraphy and music. He left on his bicycle with a complete photography studio on his bike. He was off to photograph boxers, I was off to clean my desk.
I asked him for a gig. He said yes. Since then we (me and chris mccomish- drums and bvs) have played many of our favorite shows there. Its as intimate as any songwriter would ever desire. backstage is in the kitchen. I like to hang out there before playing. There is good coffee up there.
"fresh off the boat from belfast i took my first walk up chatsworth road in search of someone known as "phil the dentist".
I heard he had a venue and i was hungry to play. I walked past the school , the cafes, the church where the irish congregated after mass and passed the markets with the rich smell of coffee, passed the local mosque , everyone nodding and saying hello as i made my way to 33 Chatsworth road aka as the DENTIST.. I walked in and asked for this illusive character Phil. I was greeted with a smiling man in a green raincoat by the name of Jorn who was making waffles. His photos were on the wall, i liked them a lot.. His waffles were just as good and he kindly let me scoff up about 5 in a row. I was in the right place. Phil was not there.. I said thanks and goodbye and continued walking up chatsworth road. I bumped into an old friend on the street. I told him I was looking for Phil the Dentist. He smiled and said I am 'Phil the Dentist' I had known Phil for years back in days of my old band Smokey Angle Shades.
i love chatsworth road.
PAT DAM SMYTH
Pat on Soundcloud
Where Pat writes most of his lyrics. He loves old typewriters.
Profession/what do you do?
How long have you lived in the area?
I've lived around the Millfields Parks for 5 years.
What do you like about it?
The most important thing about living here is all the open space; the parks, the canal and the nature reserve. I think we have the best of both worlds here in this part of London.
You have a pretty good view of the River Lea and people walking by. Can you tell us about some interesting things you have seen?:
I see a lot of happy families, ramblers, sportsmen, dog walkers and cyclists passing by, but occasionally there are dramas. I once looked out to find 4 bewildered women standing in the canal. Their scull boat had broken in two, but I think they saw the funny side. Two summers ago we witnessed the attempted murder of a swan by two rival swans who were particularly territorial during breeding season. It was heartbreaking to watch so we intervened and managed to rescue the outsider swan with the help of some other locals on the towpath. There have been scuffles and drunken brawls too but so far I haven't seen anyone fall in the water.
What describes your work/what inspires you?
I'm inspired by these surroundings. The mixture of nature and urban living gives everything around here a rough edge and makes it interesting. Nothing is ever quite as it seems and I like to reflect that uncertainty in what I draw. I always look for the details. I found a tiny helicopter in a tree yesterday. If people have the time to take a closer look, they'll find little surprises like that in my work too.
Where can we see your work?
Zosienka's work printed on material.
Zosienka's view of the River Lea Navigation seen from her drawing desk.
Elaine The Hartist
I Love Chatsworth Road has been to see local artist Elaine Breinlinger. She went to the first Isle of Wight festival back in the day and she loved it she told us. She says: “There was no facilities, there was no food, but I loved it! Jimi Hendrix came on (at) two in the morning”. Elaine has spent time in other places too which has helped shaping her into the exciting person she is today. She was caught in the middle of the race riots in Notting Hill in 1958, and lived the swinging 60s in Soho. Elaine says
“To experience the (Swinging) 60s you had to live in Central London, it was a small scene, otherwise you would miss it”. She experienced the Portugese revolution in the mid-70s, she lived in Tehran during the 1979 revolution and in Berlin when the wall came down in '89- and now she lives in Clapton during the big coffee revolution. Elaine doesn't dwell much over the past; she is mainly interested in the present day – NOW! She was a beatnik, then started painting and today she is using musical instruments for her art. Her last show was at the MKII gallery on Powerscroft Road. “I use instruments not working any longer in my jazzart, because of my love of music.” If you have ever met Elaine you know she loves music. She even has a small stage in her garden where musicians performs intimate gigs in the summer and she often have friends from all over the world staying in her house making music. She also just started to learn to play the piano. Elaine has lived in Clapton on and off for ten years, interrupted by a few months here and there. She always like to come back to Clapton despite the rather grey weather compared to Miami where she was last.
“By the end of the day I want to be creative, and this is the place to be creative”. She bought the house because it was cheap back then and because she wanted to create an artistic environment. Why do you like Clapton?: “It is vibrant, ethnic, good venues, great vibe and not twee. It also has an element of bohemianism.”
Elaine has three children and four grand children spread between Germany and London. She also thinks Chatsworth Road needs proper hardware and art-material shops.
Places Elaine recommends for music:
Finsbury on Tuesdays
Charlie Wright jam session on Thursdays
Passing Clouds on Thursdays
Hoxton Jam on Wednesdays
All photos © Jørn Tomter
Some of Elaine's art
Elaine loves music and is currenlty learning to play the piano
Photo: Maddy runs a very popular music class for children every Monday morning in the basement of Clapton Park Methodist Church on Chatsworth Road.
Maddy and Sean
We owned a small flat in chalk farm, but when my mum died we moved into her much larger house in kings cross. It was rented from British Rail and we had only been there about 9 months when they gave us notice to move as they were developing St Pancras station. Sean had a studio in the house and we had got used to having space so we decided to look for a larger place to rent. When I was perusing Loot looking for somewhere that we could afford, an ad for a 5 bed house on Rushmore road kept winking at me. We went to see it and really liked the area, so we took it. The day we moved in (march 2001) our neighbour was taken away in an ambulance with a hammer in his head! Coming from Kings Cross we were used to a degree of chaos so it didn't phase us and two years later we bought a house around the corner.
When we moved here, the greengrocers on Chatsworth road was a small oasis in a desert of off licenses, take away shops, pound shops and hairdressers. There was also the brilliant Blanks Wallpapers that we spent a great deal of time in while doing up our house. Come to think of it we spent quite a bit of time at the offie too!
Our early experiences were mixed; we met some lovely people, mostly indigenous locals who had lived here for years, but we also had a quite a few hairy experiences. The first time my dad visited I had to pull him into Carnival Cards to avoid a lunatic who was running down the road with a machete. The bloke next door was deaf and had Tourette's - his voice boomed into our kitchen night and day, and there were times when I thought Charlie's (my son) first word might be an expletive. We also had our house burgled twice and the car stolen once. When Charlie started nursery we discovered loads of lovely people who have since become great friends. We now have a second child who has come through Happitime Playgroup and is now at Rushmore school, so we have made even more friends through her.
Over the years the community has grown and grown, and I love the fact that within half a square mile there are dozens of fantastic people I could call upon if I ever needed help. It makes me feel very safe and it also allows me to give my older child more freedom.
I love the open spaces around here, particularly the filter beds and the marshes. They used to be so deserted, but now it's more like Hamstead Heath on a Sunday. I worry that the house prices and the posh shops might drive away the locals and the early settlers, Clapton seems to attract a particularly creative type, I have met loads of artists and writers, musicians and crafty folk since living here. I hope that the price of housing now doesn't bring in lots of city types.
I really enjoy having the market on my door step and I would love to see more traditional market traders here; not just a farmers market. I also really enjoy the many community activities that people get going, be it the community meal, the events at The Old Dentist, stuff for kids etc.
It would make a lot of financial sense for us to move, but I really can't imagine finding anywhere else with such a diverse and lovely community as Clapton.
Madeleine Read Clarke and Sean Read
Maddy and Sean in their front garden.
Sean Read is a musician and owns an analogue recording studio. He has played among others with Manic Street Preachers, Beth Orton and Dexy's Midnight Runners.
Sean and Maddy in their garden.
Eden and David from Lovers Electric. Photo Jørn Tomter / tomter.net
I Love Chatsworth Road went to see Lovers Electric based on Powerscroft Road.
What are your names and where do you come from?
David Turley - Adelaide, Australia
Eden Boucher - Adelaide, Australia
How long have you been living in Clapton?
David: Since 2001 so I guess over 12 years now…
Eden: We were here when it was still dodgy…! We lived on Lower Clapton Road above a shop, and saw some pretty crazy stuff from our front window!
Why do you like it here?
Eden: Everyone's got an interesting story of how they ended up here and what they're doing now. When we first came here we had friends who lived on Chatsworth Road, we stayed with them and got to know their friends and it was a really friendly community of people and that can be hard to find anywhere, but especially in big city like London.
What is your best memory from the area?
David: That would have to be the old Lorda Cecil pub on Lower Clapton Rd. We used to go there before that was shut down, it was an amazing mix of people who would regularly go there, it was like no place I'd ever been and the funniest thing was there were allot of Rastafarian and Jamaican guys there with big dreadlocks and there would always be this reggae band playing but every member was white! Then there was this one lovely guy who was known as 'The Mayor', he always introduced himself to everyone and wore a white suit with tails, complete top hat and rode around on one of those low-rider bicycles.
Eden: There was a guy with a moped helmet on who used to ask if you could lend him a quid as his bike had been stolen, but he didn't ever change his story, the helmet was nice touch though, I don't think I would have changed it either with an idea like that...
What is the name of your band? Any side projects?
Our band is 'Lovers Electric'
Yeah we've done a few side project things, Eden's worked with an electro group called Ashton Shuffle which had a big song in Australia a year ago. And I've recently started a political/electro band called AAA+
How will you describe your music?
David: I think this new EP and album we've been recording is much more acoustic, we used to use allot more electronic elements but I think more and more we love acoustic instruments.
Eden: It's hard to describe music but I guess we're a bit pop, a bit alternative and a bit rad!
Is it challenging or rewarding working together as a couple?
Eden: quite often both of those things at the same time. We are quite lucky in that we sort of just found out we worked well together after getting married, very handy.
David: it's certainly challenging now we have kids, finding the time, etc. But it's great to be touring and traveling together, it can be really lonely if you have to travel and tour away from your family so we're really lucky we can be together.
What is your label called?
David: We are signed to Universal in Germany and we're working with an indie label in the UK called AWAL.
We have heard rumours you are working on an EP. When is it coming out?
David: The release date is mid-September!
Who is your favourite band/artist?
David: 'Arcade Fire' are still one of my favourite bands but I've been listening allot recently to 'Pyramids', 'The XX', 'Phoenix' and 'Cold War Kids' have new albums out that are great. And then Bastille have to be my choice of guilty pop pleasure...
Eden: Well, today was a disco day for me, 'Chic' was the flavour of the hour.
Lovers Electric on Facebook
Lovers Electric on Youtube
Eden's fashion label - Eden Honey Dew
All photos Jørn Tomter / tomter.net