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Soerditch by Dant

March 1, 2013
by the gentle author

Working under the assumed identity of Dant, Spitalfields Life Contributing Artist Adam Dant has drawn one hundred and twenty-five cartoons, satirising the culture of our dearly-beloved Shoreditch, all comprising beautifully rendered views of the neighbourhood and captioned with clueless things overheard on the streets.

“Oh my God!  This is the place where that Tracey Ermine told me to ‘fark orf’!”

“It’s all www this & dot com that today … I’d tell people what I think of it all … if they weren’t on the phone all the time!”

“Ere, Luv! Do you want to pet my dog? He likes long legs & nice tits …”

“There’s that Rupa … I can’t believe I lent her all my Henry Miller revision notes, she gets an A & can’t even be arsed to give them back, let alone say ‘thanks’ or anything! “

“Sorry Love – Scrub that … He just texted again, says he wants a ‘flat white’ instead …”

“I love the whole cobbley, Jack the Rippery feel of this area …”

“I’m, like sooo Anti. How about you?  Oh Ya!  Absolutely.”

“Well I wanted to rent ‘Dodgeball’ but the guy who runs your video store said I wasn’t allowed to see it.  He made me watch this Polish film about organ trafficking instead, which I didn’t really enjoy.”

“This is the shop where the Huguenots invented the Donut …”

“Another one of those ‘Pop-up Shops’ seems to have gone & ‘popped-off’…”

“Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great lido & all, it’s just, once you’ve seen something like that floating in it … puts you off your stroke!”

“Mum …can I have an ‘ipod touch,’ can I, can I, will you get one for me, can I have one, can we use my pocket money, can I have one, can I …?”



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.

Soerditch is the old name for Shoreditch, quoted by the historian John Stowe in his Survey of London 1598, as “so called more than four hundred yeares.” It means the 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.

The exhibition runs at Eleven Spitalfields Gallery from 7th March – 26th April and all one hundred and twenty-five cartoons are published in a limited edition 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

8 Responses leave one →
  1. Annie permalink
    March 1, 2013

    I knew you would save the day. I was sitting with coffee, wondering what I could use to grab the attention of my 11 year olds today and here it is…you have made a primary school teacher very happy!

  2. Peter Holford permalink
    March 1, 2013

    Yes indeed. It emphasises how my great-grandparents would have been complete strangers in their home area if they were alive today. Come to think of it so would my dad.

  3. March 1, 2013

    This is going to be a truly great show by a local artist of note
    Enjoy the wit and humour displayed

    Do come to see the works at the gallery, a charming little suite of georgian rooms
    in the heart of Spitalfields contact at the gallery is Anita Lawlor Tel: 020 7247 1816

  4. Linda permalink
    March 1, 2013

    Brilliant combination of talent and humour. Spot on verbal observations. In a rather odd way, cheered my day considerably! Lots of my family were baptised/married at St Len’s in the 1800s but I no longer live in London. Best of luck for a successful exhibition.

  5. March 1, 2013

    These are wonderful!

  6. Chris F permalink
    March 1, 2013

    I’m still laughing at the ‘Do you want to pat my dog’. Very funny….

  7. sprite permalink
    March 2, 2013

    the Henry Miller and Rupa! that did it for me….

    ‘verbal observations’ –
    suddenly the need
    for a new notepad


  8. Cherub permalink
    March 2, 2013

    I’ve had one of those really boring days today, no real motivation, so finding these gave me a right old laugh. Visiting London in a few weeks and am looking forward to heading back to see Spitalfields. Had life not taken me back to Scotland I would have loved to have lived there as I miss everything about it.

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