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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

London Zine Symposium 2011: A Review

The London Zine Symposium returns to the Rag Factory in Heneage Street for its seventh annual event. Here's what I discovered on Sunday 17th April 2011... with lots of photos.

Written by Amelia Gregory

London Zine Symposium 2011 Photography by Amelia Gregory
London Zine Symposium 2011. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

At the London Zine Symposium art students and anarchists sit cheek by jowl, sometimes sharing an overloaded trestle table. It can be a somewhat uncomfortable relationship – I picked up one zine that featured a page that cited all the reasons why art students’ zines are inferior to ‘real’ zines: not least their tendency to flog a whole table of handcrafted goodies alongside.

London Zine Symposium 2011 Photography by Amelia Gregory
London Zine Symposium 2011 Photography by Amelia Gregory
London Zine Symposium 2011 Photography by Amelia Gregory
London Zine Symposium 2011 Photography by Amelia Gregory
London Zine Symposium 2011 Photography by Amelia Gregory

I can see their point – zines began life as a way to express ideas that might not otherwise find an outlet, and have been adopted by artists as a way to showcase work with a view to commercial propagation. But that doesn’t stop me being a big advocate of up and coming artists’ zines – it’s a wonderfully cheap medium to showcase work when cost is a real issue for many artists and illustrators just starting out. Of course, if that work has something intelligent to say, then all the better, and who said that anarchism and artistry have to be mutually exclusive anyway? The London Zine Symposium proves that there is plenty of room for all comers – it’s become a great success because the sprawling DIY ethos of the zine network creates supportive communities.

London Zine Symposium 2011 Photography by Amelia Gregory
London Zine Symposium 2011 Photography by Amelia Gregory
London Zine Symposium 2011 Photography by Amelia Gregory
London Zine Symposium 2011 Photography by Amelia Gregory
London Zine Symposium 2011 Photography by Amelia Gregory
London Zine Symposium 2011 Photography by Amelia Gregory
London Zine Symposium 2011 Photography by Amelia Gregory
It was extremely hot and claustrophobic in the Rag Factory this weekend, so I whisked through as quickly as I could and probably missed loads of great stuff. Here’s my pick of what I found at this year’s London Zine Symposium.

I’ve long been a fan of Jess Wilson, who has been featured multiple times in Amelia’s Magazine and in Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration. One of her side projects is Duke Press, and here’s a selection of what she had on offer: lovely stuff all of it.

London Zine Symposium 2011 Photography by Amelia Gregory
London Zine Symposium 2011 Photography by Amelia Gregory
London Zine Symposium 2011 Photography by Amelia Gregory
London Zine Symposium 2011 Photography by Amelia Gregory

At the back people were tackling their own Zine projects, and it looked like they were having a lot of fun with cut up newspapers and Pritt sticks.

London Zine Symposium 2011 Photography by Amelia Gregory
London Zine Symposium 2011 Photography by Amelia Gregory

Nobrow were there with a table full of brightly coloured products – not entirely sure how they fit into the London Zine Symposium, but I’ll always be seduced by their wares. I particularly liked the bright new postcards, which I suspect are Risograph products.

London Zine Symposium 2011 Photography by Amelia Gregory
London Zine Symposium 2011 Photography by Amelia Gregory

I bumped into former Amelia’s Magazine intern Amy Knight, who is now working as an arts writer in Brighton. Her particular group of interns vanished in a puff of smoke a few years ago and I’ve heard very little from them since, so it was nice to hear what she is up to now. Very proud!

London Zine Symposium 2011 Photography by Amelia Gregory Amy Knight

Mark Pawson had pole position at the end, with his usual table full of fabulousness.

London Zine Symposium 2011 Photography by Amelia Gregory Mark Pawson

I was lured to Katie Green’s table by the nicely matching palette of pea greens and rustic browns… then we both realised that she too is an Amelia’s Magazine contributor, one that I haven’t met before. She produced a beautiful image for my Everything is Connected theme in issue 10, and since then has been busy producing her own zine, The Green Bean, an ode to all things creative and sustainable.

London Zine Symposium 2011 Photography by Amelia Gregory Katie Green
Katie Green Green Bean
Katie Green Green Bean

She’s also been working on an Arts Council funded graphic novel and recently spent some time on a retreat where there was nothing but sheep…. inspiring a gorgeous sketch book of her “woolly friends”. I was easily seduced into buying one of her lovely fimo bean broaches.

Katie Green Sheep
Katie Green Sheep
London Zine Symposium 2011 Photography by Amelia Gregory Katie Green

Hugh of Landfill Editions makes the most amazing publications on his Risograph machine. He kindly gave me a copy of Mould Map #1… which features the work of a whole host of new and up and coming illustrators, all wonderfully rendered in florid neon orange and purple. It includes the inimitable abstract work of former Amelia’s Magazine contributor Colin Henderson and I have been hankering after it for awhile. Thankyou Hugh!

London Zine Symposium 2011 Photography by Amelia Gregory Landfill Editions
London Zine Symposium 2011 Photography by Amelia Gregory Landfill Editions
Mould Map-Landfill Editions
Mould Map-Landfill Editions
Mould Map-Landfill Editions

I must say that when it comes to my own purchases I tend to gravitate towards the more radical story zines, and so with my last pound coin I bought a copy of Out of the City and Into the Trees, a written zine that spans six years of diary entries written whilst living in trees on protest sites. I look forward to reading it.

Into the Trees-zine
London Zine Symposium 2011 Photography by Amelia Gregory

Check out our interview with London Zine Symposium organiser Edd Baldry. Enjoy the rest of my photos!

London Zine Symposium 2011 Photography by Amelia Gregory
London Zine Symposium 2011 Photography by Amelia Gregory
London Zine Symposium 2011 Photography by Amelia Gregory
London Zine Symposium 2011 Photography by Amelia Gregory
London Zine Symposium 2011 Photography by Amelia Gregory
London Zine Symposium 2011 Photography by Amelia Gregory
London Zine Symposium 2011 Photography by Amelia Gregory
London Zine Symposium 2011 Photography by Amelia Gregory
London Zine Symposium 2011 Photography by Amelia Gregory
London Zine Symposium 2011 Photography by Amelia Gregory
London Zine Symposium 2011 Photography by Amelia Gregory

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5 Responses to “London Zine Symposium 2011: A Review”

  1. Thanks for putting a photo of my zines. (Mine are the first picture)

    (Also, note to self: sit up straighter in photos)

  2. Amelia says:

    I’ve heard word that the London Zine Symposium is no longer… something I suspected might have happened at a meeting that I saw advertised when I was there. Can anyone clarify the situation? Will there be something new in it’s place next year? it would be great to know more!

  3. I think it’s a case that most of the organisers aren’t able to do it next year, but they haven’t found people to take their place (yet)

  4. [...] read our account, you can still be bothered on this bank-holiday to read more, you can find more here, here and here. (This last one is a video from [...]

  5. Kraggy says:

    hahaha i spy the cheeky Cut Me Up bert and ernie sticker!

    Cut Me Up is at

    http://cutmeupzine.blogspot.com/

    http://twitter.com/cutmeupzine

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