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Soerditch by Dant (Chapter Two)

March 7, 2013
by the gentle author

Please join me tonight from 6:30- 8:30pm at Eleven Spitalfields Gallery for the opening of Adam Dant‘s exhibition of cartoons SOERDITCH, Diary of a Neighbourhoodsatirising the culture of our dearly-beloved Shoreditch – comprising beautifully rendered views of the neighbourhood , captioned with clueless things overheard on the streets.

“No it’s not a brewery anymore, that must just be the drains … ”

“They say he buried a baby under all his churches … but it doesn’t seem to bother all the film stars that live here.”

“I’d offer to buy you a bagel but I spent my last tenner on that aniseed soap and a bit of coral.”

“Go back to work? Don’t be ridiculous, we haven’t tried the dessert wines let alone the calvadoses yet!”

“They were filming up here again yesterday, so far this week I’m in the background of a BT ad, a Ripper doc and a Jessie J. vid.”

“Oh, my nice hat pin fell out in the market last week, will you keep an eye out for it?”

“My Uncle Stan said he used to live round here.” … “Wow!  He must have been sooo cool.” … “Not really, he was a meths drinker.”

“We got rid of the old sign, this is a photo of the new neon one.” … “Nice!  What was there before?” … “Oh some nasty stone carving that said ‘1760’ or something.”

“No!  Not the halter neck dress, that one would clash with my robot tat …”

“We’ve got to get over to my stupid brother’s new cake shop quickly…before he spells ‘cakes’ wrong again”

“My word, this is some stinky alley, Kev! Were you thinking of ‘doin me’ or ‘doin me in’ ? ”

“Here, hold my handbag. I’m nipping up this scarey Victorian alley for a wee.”


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 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 from 7th March – 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!


Adam Dant hides behind his assumed identity of “Dant.”

Cartoons copyright © Adam Dant

Adam Dant is represented by Hales Gallery

You may also like to see this earlier selection of cartoons by Dant

Soerditch by Dant (Chapter One)

6 Responses leave one →
  1. Greg Tingey permalink
    March 7, 2013

    LURVE The one about the meths-drinking uncle!

  2. March 7, 2013

    We cant wait to receive our copy!

  3. Peter Holford permalink
    March 7, 2013

    Very funny and also very acerbic. These cartoons remind us of what has been lost and how the last remnants of the old East End will soon be gone.

  4. Annie Sorenson permalink
    March 7, 2013

    Wish I could be at the opening, but am stuck in California! I’ll have to make do with the book. Good luck and best wishes.!

  5. James F permalink
    March 8, 2013

    We love these drawings! We’d love to see some more of the local pubs…

  6. March 12, 2013

    These are wonderful. I love learning about the history of “Soerditch”, then and now. He’s a wonderful artist.

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