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James Brown at Gardners Market Sundriesmen

November 2, 2012
by the gentle author

Come and see James Brown’s Gardners’ Market Sundriesmen print at The Artists of Spitalfields Life opening at Ben Pentreath Ltd on Wednesday 7th November.

This is illustrator & printmaker, James Brown, presenting Paul Gardner, the fourth generation paper bag seller, with a copy of the beautiful print he has created to celebrate this beloved and historic Spitalfields institution, Gardners Market Sundriesmen. When a one hundred and forty year old business advertises for the first time, something special is required and – working in collaboration with Paul – James has contrived a paper bag printed in gold and emblazoned with symbols of all the different items to be purchased at Gardners.

“Knowing about Paul and his story through Spitalfields Life, I thought it would be great to produce a design that he could use as a promotional flyer and that I could also make into a nice limited edition print too,” explained James shyly, standing in front of Paul and aware of the huge departure this first piece of advertising represents for Gardners.

Through supplying the bags, in this area traditionally occupied with small shops and markets, Gardners is naturally the epicentre. Yet with new people coming to set up stalls and open shops all the time, James’ beautiful postcards of his print constitute an ideal introduction to this uniquely appealing shop that will sell you as few bags as you need. James & I distributed the cards in shops and markets on Paul’s behalf, but you can pick up some yourself direct from Gardners Market Sundriesmen in Commercial St and take the opportunity to admire the limited edition print at The Artists of Spitalfields Life exhibition in Bloomsbury next week.

“Paul has so many stories to tell, my visits to Gardners were always lengthy and lively.” confided James, savouring the year it has take to develop his design. “It’s been great to get to know Paul and I really hope the flyer works for him, he is a lovely guy and offers a level of service that cannot be surpassed by any of the online bag and sundries suppliers.”

When I first met James Brown a couple of  years ago, he had just quit a ten year career as a textile designer and struck out anew as an illustrator and printmaker, sharing a studio with his brother in Hackney Wick. Since then, I have been delighted to see his bravura designs turning up all over the place. “It’s snowballed really,” he admitted with a private smile of satisfaction, “And now I am making a living at it – exactly what I wanted to do and it’s brilliant!”

James’ screenprint celebrating Gardners Market Sundriesmen, Spitalfields’ oldest family business.

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At Gardner Market Sundriesmen

Paul Gardner, Paper Bag Seller

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