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Lucinda Rogers At Ridley Rd Market

November 21, 2017
by the gentle author

In the first of a series, Contributing Artist Lucinda Rogers & I visit Ridley Rd Market in Dalston to meet some of the traders featured in her current exhibition Lucinda Rogers: On Gentrification – Drawings of Ridley Rd Market at House of Illustration in Kings Cross until March

Larry Julian, Chair of Ridley Rd Traders Association

Larry Julian – “I was a boy when I first came down here to help my parents Billy & Jeanie. Now I have been here fifty-five years and I am the fourth generation of our family in this market. My great-grandfather James Julian, he was one of the first down here. When I was a boy, all the fruit had to be properly displayed in tissue paper, and we weighed it out and wrapped it for our customers. We were always selling fruit & veg, but thirty-five years ago my mother had a stall selling toiletries while we were still selling the fruit & veg, so I took it over and my brother took over the fruit & veg. I get up at 4:30am and I get down here at 6:30am but, when I did the fruit & veg, I got up at 3am. I enjoy the social life and talking to all my customers. I am not rich but I have always made a living and, if I could have my time over again, I would do it all the same.”

Jimmy’s CD stall with fruit & veg stallholders

Jimmy Figgins - “I started out as DJ in clubs around this area, like the Four Aces and Oasis, as well as various pirate radio stations. Then, after I had done it for twelve years, some of those clubs became stripclubs. I did not want my life to be playing music for strip, so I came down here and Hoxton Market on Saturdays, selling CDs. Then, after twenty years, the market for CDs went down.” (This drawing shows the last day of Jimmy’s CD stall, he has now turned to selling takeway food.)

Cut yams and breadfruit at Back Home Yam Man

Dashamir Coku

– “A friend of mine used to work in the market and he asked me to help him out. We started down here twenty years ago with a stall, and now we have a stall and a shop. I get up at 3am and arrive here at 5:30am. I got to travel around Jamaica, Columbia, Brazil and Mexico, and because I am a cook, I learnt to cook this food. My wife is from Columbia, so I got to learn all about their vegetables. I sell vegetables from the Caribbean and South America, and my customers here in Ridley Rd Market include people from Cuba, Jamaica, St Lucia, Barbados and Montserrat.”

Jakey the parrot, with visiting parrot

“He was twenty years old when we got him. I used to keep Cockatiels, so when a customer split up with his wife, we agreed to have Jakey. That was seven years ago, he is twenty-seven now. Jakey is very cheeky and loves attention, but he can be moody and peck sometimes. He likes it when the parrot from next door visits.”

Drawings copyright © Lucinda Rogers

Lucinda Rogers: On Gentrification – Drawings from Ridley Rd Market is open at House of Illustration, Tuesday – Sunday from 10am-6pm until 25th March

You may also like to take a look at

Lucinda Rogers’ East End

Lucinda Rogers’ Spitalfields Suite

Lucinda Rogers’ Cards

Lucinda Rogers in Tottenham

8 Responses leave one →
  1. November 21, 2017

    Her work is beautifully delicate.

  2. Jonathan Madden permalink
    November 21, 2017

    I’ve been a huge admirer of Lucinda’s work for a fair few years now. Her line work is beautiful, lively and sensitive, I also love the way she picks out so carefully certain areas in colour. Great draughtsmanship brilliantly observed. I only wish I could afford one of her originals, or even a limited edition print.
    Thanks for the article.

  3. Sarah Ainslie permalink
    November 21, 2017

    This is a really wonderful exhibition of the rich and fascinating life of Ridley Rd Market that Lucinda’s remarkable drawings record in such an intimate way. Everyone should visit the exhibition it is filled with such vibrancy you feel you are in the market itself.

  4. November 21, 2017

    Economy of line combined with a fragmentary use of colour works wonders here. Lucinda’s perceptive observations of the East End capture moments that are usually overlooked.

  5. Helen Breen permalink
    November 21, 2017

    Greetings from Boston,

    GA, thanks for sharing Lucinda Rogers’s delightful drawings and real life stories. Really wonderful…

  6. Kitanz permalink
    November 22, 2017

    Those are Wonderful Paintings! Thank You Very Much!

  7. November 22, 2017

    A wonderful style of drawings, very delicate and expressive.

    Love & Peace
    ACHIM

  8. November 23, 2017

    Lucinda’s work is exceptional. She really captures the liveliness of the market with her seemingly spontaneous line, totally spot-on and never over-worked. Kudos!

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