A microbrewery for book-lovers

Archive: Chip Shop

A London Word Festival commission
supported by the Jerwood Charitable Foundation


2013 There Will Be New Rules Next Week (Sister Corita Kent), Dundee Contemporary Arts
2012 You Say French Fiberboard…, Rowhill Books, Charlottesville VA
2011 Evolving English, British Library
2011 Printmaking Today, Black Rat Gallery, Shoreditch
2010 Multiplied, Christie’s Auction House
2010 The Verb, BBC Radio Theatre (BBC Radio 3)

London Word Festival 2010:

31st March 2010 The Art of Storytelling (with Ian McMillan), Shoreditch Church
20th March 2010  Keep Printing and Carry On, Stoke Newington International Airport
14th March 2010 Red Art Cafe, Dalston
7th March 2010 Toynbee Arts Cafe, Whitechapel

Evolving English – British Library

Whilst sitting in a favourite chippy we noticed that almost everything you’d need to make a screenprint was on hand. When the London Word Festival asked us to make a show to act as a spine to the whole 2010 festival, we made a chipboard chip shop counter and took it on tour.

Members of the public suggested favourite words for our catch of the day, a selection of which were made into small runs of prints on chipboard. Our festival activities culminated in ‘Keep Printing and Carry on’, a show where STK was transformed into a harmless looking English village complete with its own cake shop, school, and of course our Chippy. Darren Hayman, Joanna Neary and Universettee all did a stint on stage followed by a visit to the Chip Shop where three original posters were printed and published on the night!Fish and Chips couldn’t be more British, but they came over separately with Spanish and Jewish migrants. It seems words and foods enter British culture much the same way.

Highlights include the creation of a full-size chip shop, which then serves up screenprints rather than battered cod and mushy peas.

Lauren Laverne, Grazia

Now in its third year, the 2010 London Word Festival has been serving up the kind of verbal gastronomics we have come to expect from the east end’s most collaborative literary event, with Toby Litt, Iain Sinclair and physicist Brian Cox just some of the treats on this month’s menu. But it’s the Chip Shop – a live installation from the resident Henningham Family Press – which is satisfying the biggest appetites. This life-size replica of a traditional chip counter has been dishing up people’s favourite words, screen-printed onto chipboard and wrapped up in newspaper to take away, for just £1 each, roughly the price of a bag of chips… [A]t Toynbee Studios on Sunday, more than 130 people lined up to order their own – crepuscular, incandescent, pigeon – and by 5pm, the shop had sold out. “Even the man who sells us veg at the market turned up,” reports Ping happily. “Everyone was standing around chatting while they waited for their words.”…[O]n 31 March, the poet Ian McMillan is in Shoreditch to premiere “The Chip Shop Poem”, a new commission composed from all the words dished up over the month. It’s literature – just not on a plate.

Nancy Groves, The Independent

This life-size replica of an old-school caff screenprints a word of your choice onto chip-board, before wrapping it in newspaper for you to take away – all for the price of a real bag of chips. It’s the work of Dalston’s fantastic Henningham Family Press, who will be popping up at various venues throughout the month-long festival.

Guardian Books Blog

We all shuffle up and take a pew as the proceedings begin. First up, specially commissioned poet Ian McMillan takes to the stage to perform the festival’s official Chip Shop Poem. McMillan gets things off to a flying start as his thickly laden Yorkshire glottal stops spurt out from his mouth at break neck speed. By the time we actually get to the Chip Shop poem, The Epic Friday Night Travels of Norman McNorman I am in a mild state of hysterics and so unfortunately can’t recall the finer details, but it’s very funny, ingenious and has something to do with a man called Norman and a late night trip to the Chip Shop. Hats off to Ian who manages to get the words ‘pigeon’, ‘fusspot’, ‘crepuscular’, ‘incandescent’, ‘hopscotch’, and ‘jump’ along with other maverick mots into a well-rhymed jumble with a particularly good last line involving the word ‘spatula’.

Lauren Romano, Spoonfed
Keep Printing and Carry On – London Word Festival
Keep Printing and Carry On – London Word Festival
Red Art Cafe – London Word Festival
Toynbee Arts Cafe
Toynbee Arts Cafe
BBC Radio Theatre – The Verb
Multiplied 2010 – Christie’s Auction House
Black Rat Gallery – Shoreditch
Black Rat Gallery – Shoreditch
Sister Corita Kent, Dundee Contemporary Arts
Sister Corita Kent, Dundee Contemporary Arts