"No Search No Entry"
Take a walk through the eastern edges of the city and further out to the depths of east London early on a Sunday morning and you will see documentary evidence of those radio words and the events they speak of, littered along Hackney Road, Cambridge Heath, Whitechapel and any large road out to Ilford and beyond and you will find those familiar printed postcard sized flyers. As the young of east London shuffle home weary and ready to catch up on their sleep after a Saturday night and Sunday morning spent throwing off the previous week a sea of litter drops from their hands and pockets, trod underfoot are the same words that emanate from the radio here in printed form. The venues, times, dates, DJ lineups, dress codes and security warnings are now history but soon to be repeated in a weeks time as the whole process starts again.
David Stewart has taken these little documents of urban life and replicated them as large woodcuts. In the Gone Tomorrow Gallery in Bethnal Green he has constructed oversized prints in black ink on white paper bearing the simple imagery and slogans from these flyers collected around Hackney Road, the flyers reproduced in this way and at such a scale show a significance, something so easily discarded and forgotten takes on a real documentary purpose.
The everyday streets of London are shown as a form of visual poetry, this traditional
method overtaken by modern printing processes is now reclaimed by Stewart and shows a real love of the city. Amongst these reproduced flyers Stewart shows printed text and images echoing a world of pirate radio, nightclubs, takeaways and discount international calls. It is a world we see and hear in this city but have become used to, our eyes and ears no longer notice due to the scale of its influence and the sheer scale of our city, its evidence litters our streets in the form of these rudimentary printed flyers.
David Stewart has taken these discarded pieces of litter and out of these weather beaten, crumpled scraps shown us a view of our city, it might be a rain soaked, muddied and grubby history of the night before but under Stewart’s hand it is renewed and made beautiful.