Soerditch by Dant (Chapter Six)
Time for this week’s dose of SOERDITCH, Diary of a Neighbourhood, Adam Dant’s sly satire upon the social ironies of the “New” East End – each cartoon a beautifully rendered view of the neighbourhood, captioned with a clueless thing overheard on the street.
“I’m no expert, but listen … if I was architecting a building, I would not model it on a pair of buttocks!”
“They served the canapés from dustbin lids and the cocktails were in old baked bean tins … so cool!”
“My girlfriend’s started a business making laptop cases from coffee bean sacks, our flat’s a total hessian sh*t hole.”
“Got a spare £7.24 love?” … “Not funny! You asked that yesterday.” … “No, yesterday it was £6.30, it’s gone up.”
“Hey, this is where that ‘right-on’ printers was where you had your ‘class war rant’ pamphlets done.” … “Yeah, keep that one quiet at KMPG please.”
“Do you ever imagine other cities existing beneath this one?” … “No, they’re usually on top!”
“They’ve got no soya milk, I’m just popping back home to fetch mine – want me to pick up your fags too?”
“Delivery of lambs’ tongues and pigs’ **seh0les for you…”
“I dare you to chuck this toy money into the drug dealer’s car instead – go on, it’d be soo funny…!”
“Glad they moved the soup kitchen … I was getting cleaned out by all the tramps at the ‘when I grow rich’ church!”
“This was an old railwayman’s chapel but apparently some architects are turning it into a neo-Victorian Cuban bar …”
“Wot’s iz name?” … “Crack-hound?”
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