Soerditch by Dant (Chapter Five)
Another instalment of SOERDITCH, Diary of a Neighbourhood, Adam Dant’s satire upon the ironies of life in the “New” East End – each cartoon a beautifully rendered view of the neighbourhood, captioned with a clueless thing overheard on the street.
“I’ve got a couple of quid on me, are we far enough East for that to stretch to a cup of tea each?”
“It’s from Murad … says he can’t come in to work … he’s got his hand stuck in a Pringles tube … ”
“Yeah, like a kind of street-art-converted-dustcart. You know, like the ones the roadsweepers use …. that’s my plan.”
“I’m tired all the time – it’s the seagulls, they come for the chicken boxes every morning as soon as the sun comes up.”
“You load your picture into the app and it shows you what you’ d look like if you had a beard.” … “Wow, cool!”
“Yes, ever so cosmopolitan it is round here! I met my first Uruguayan in the coffee shop this morning.”
“Abjol! Abjol! Where’s our guard cat?”
<< Estate Agnt sez S-Ditch 2 expnsv try Thamesmead xxx :) >>
“OK, see you back in Chelsea, can I bring anything from E1? … bagels?”
“Do you take pictures of anything other than these scribbles?” … “Like what?”
“Yeah, Sarah’s found an OK warehouse space for the exhibition, it’s just that it’s the kinda-Stamford-Hill-end-of-Shoreditch.”
“Two of you? For fifty? What do you think I am f**king Tescos?”
Soerditch is the old name for Shoreditch, quoted by the historian John Stow in his Survey of London 1598, as “so called more than four hundred yeares.” It means sewer ditch, in reference to the spring beside Shoreditch Church, once the source of the lost River Walbrook which flowed from there towards the City of London.
Drawing from a pair of unlikely inspirations, namely Giles‘ cartoons for the Daily Express and Hiroshige‘s ‘One Hundred Famous Views of Edo,’ Adam Dant pulls off an astonishing sleight of hand – simultaneously portraying the urban landscape of Shoreditch with spare lines and flat tones that evoke the woodcuts of Hiroshige, while also satirising the manners and mores of the people through witty social observations in the manner of Giles.
The exhibition runs at Eleven Spitalfields Gallery until 26th April and all one hundred and twenty-five cartoons are published in an album with an introduction by Jarvis Cocker, produced in the style of Giles’ celebrated annuals and available to buy online from Spitalfields Life Shop.
Click here to buy your copy of SOERDITCH by DANT – Diary of a Neighbourhood (125 Views of Shoreditch) – while stocks last!
Cartoons copyright © Adam Dant
Adam Dant is represented by Hales Gallery
You may also like to see these earlier selection of cartoons by Dant