24 February 2012

Writing's on the Wall's

At Goldsmiths’ urban photography summer school last July, I became fixated on the Wall’s ice cream sign that corner shops place on the pavement. Like the barber pole, these signs act as landmarks, announcing not only the treats inside, but also the shops in urban space.

The signs also illuminate the everyday practice of shopkeepers and highlight how mass-produced things acquire individual character through placement and use.

More recently, I have been thinking about the relationship between materiality of corner shops and the fabric of the city. The Wall’s ice cream sign can be seen as an urban London icon. Is it coincidence that the Wall’s sign shares colour and form with the other more celebrated London icons?