Welcome To Tottenham: GUAP exhibition and documentary

Earlier this Autumn, DT attended a local exhibition at Five Miles organised by Kelliesha White. The proceeds from the event were donated to the 639 Centre in Tottenham. The evening saw an exclusive screening of the documentary, Welcome To Tottenham, which explores the area and the threat of gentrification within it.

Organised by GUAP’s Art and Culture Editor, Kelliesha White, the event included an art exhibition, which displayed the work of 14 artists who were asked to create work that they thought represented Tottenham, performances by local musicians and a screening of the documentary. The night was packed full of a diverse mix of attendees and there was a great selection of art and music.

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The idea was for Five Miles to choose the best piece of work to be exhibited on their walls but they loved all the pieces so much they are planning to display as many as they can.

Produced & narrated by Kelliesha White and directed By Ibrahim Kamara; the documentary features Charlotte Toon, Magdalene Lepri, Edward Shi Had Mac, Natalie Larbi, Ranae Kaira, Nathan Zengamambu , Mark Ferrar, Shyaam Caine, Kash, Kush, Kris Jay Paul Burnham and Gordan Peters.

We spoke to one of the artists, Sam Ellis, whose work was displayed in the exhibition and is also from Tottenham.

How did you come up with the idea for the piece you created for Welcome To Tottenham?

I tried to explore the conversation between the history and the modern architecture being added to Tottenham, and how the new wave of creativity and vibrancy is entering into that dialogue with the past.

There are some great old buildings in Tottenham that weave in with the fabric of newer additions and current developments, it’s such a stylistic and cultural melting pot.

The geometric septagon in my artwork represents the circle of seven trees that are said to give Seven Sisters its name. The centrepiece of the image is a single tile from the set of seven that represent Seven Sisters underground station. This graphic was created in 1969 when the Victoria Line opened and each station on its route had a graphic symbol designed for it.

What do you like most about living in Tottenham?

Seven Sisters is great, there’s always so much going on and it doesn’t feel over-exposed. There’s still a lot of cool things happening under the radar.

How long have you been an artist and where does your style of work come from?

I’ve always loved creating things, and have always drawn, but I’ve been working as a professional illustrator for the last eight years. I’ve been working a lot in simple pen line drawings, trying to test the theory that there’s always one true line that tells the story that 100 sketch lines might allude to.  Its mainly because I was told in a school art class that it’s better to sketch over and over to build up a shape rather than committing to just one line. It’s my ‘Tiny act of rebellion’ to try and tell a story with just one simple line.

Sam Ellis’ piece shown at the exhibition

Read more about Welcome to Tottenham here: http://www.guap.co.uk/welcome-to-tottenham-a-guap-documentary/

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