Thems please by Des Hughes at the old A. E. Barrow shop on Chatsworth Road.

‘Thems please’, Des Hughes 76 Chatsworth Road, E5 0LS.

Shop open 7th July – 7th August, Thursday – Sunday, 12pm – 6pm.
‘Thems please’ is an exhibition of sculptures made over a fifteen year period by British artist Des Hughes.

Installed in the old newsagent A. E. Barrow on Chatsworth Road in Hackney, the exhibition offers a unique glimpse at the interior of an old Victorian shop.
The shop was built in the 1870s and contains the remains of over century of local high street history. Old packing boxes of Players cigarettes, newspapers from the 50s and 60s and Melody Makers from 90s, together with tin boxes of jean button studs and old sweet jars line the dusty shelves.
The work has numerous parallels with its remaining contents with little details left here and there, bendy pipe cleaner men found posing on the kitchen mantelpiece, the old half smoked cigar on the counter, layers of pricing stickers protruding from a shelf edge. The sculptures will integrate themselves into the fabric of the shop creating a fictional version of a lost reality; a surreal and often comic commentary on the monotony of the everyday.
Des explains: Many of the works consist of rough approximations of everyday objects or familiar things, half remembered, half-baked, deliberately clichéd. Whilst being close to being totally insignificant they exhibit evidence of industry. My works are attempts at some kind of transformation with the very mimimum of handling, working or manipulation.
Measure have invited Verity-Jane Keefe to be artist in residence during the exhibition. Verity will make new work, including a filmwork, in response to the space serving as document and inventory to the invisible history of the building which will be screened at the shop during the last week of the exhibition.
The living room, situated through a door behind the counter, will be the local history room for the project. Photographers Colin O’Brien, Emily Webber, Alex Pink and Berris Conolly will show some of their work relating to the area.
We will be stocking a selection of local history books and novels from Pages of Hackney, and the Hackney Society to sell in the shop during the exhibition.


  1. @measure how was the opening?

  2. Looking forward to visiting this it sounds very interesting. Karen

  3. Premiere of a new filmwork by Verity-Jane Keefe tonight: Full of Mysterious Promise: Number 766 – 9pm
    Verity-Jane Keefe is the artist in residence during Thems Please, an exhibition by Des Hughes organised by Measure.

    Verity has made a new filmwork in response to the space, which will serve as a document and also an inventory to the invisible history of the building.

    Verity has focused on the physical fabric of 76 Chatsworth Road, documenting details of the building that reveal it’s 140 year history, the sounds, the foibles and the remains of A E Barrow newsagents and the flat that the shopkeepers lived in. If the building is taken as a series of frozen moments, these moments will be shown alongside a constructed a soundtrack from excerpts of the British sitcom “Open All Hours”. The fictional shop in the sitcom and the remains of 76 Chatsworth Road both represent a specific time in the history of the British high street.

    Screenings of the film will be every half an hour from 1pm – 5pm, Friday – Sunday on the final weekend of the exhibition.

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