A real job is to make something

Having left Cyprus in 1958, George Myristis set up Wearite from a basement below his brother’s restaurant in Royal College Street, Camden in 1961. He bought Lawrence Works in 1976 for his production base and ran a successful business from the site until 2016 when the pressures of global trade and increased local rates made it no longer viable to run his factory in the UK. Wearite employed over 100 machinists, some for over 40 years – from Cyprus, Turkey, Ireland, Somalia, Ghana, Mauritius, China – who made English country clothing, horse blankets, sleeping bags and the first duvets sold in the UK. Wearite continues to run a shop next door selling bedding and clothing made in China and Cyprus.

Our conversations with George brought into focus questions about the value of making things in current times. When showing us his factory he said that ‘a real job is to make something’ expressing frustration at the difficulties manufacturers face from commercial rates and oversees competition. Wishing to highlight something of the factory and its history, we invited 7 artists with interests in ways people work together and in making, to spend time here and make new work in response. Margot Bannerman & Anna Hart

Artworks

Mikhail Karikis and Rob Crosse Seam and Stutter

Rosie Edwards Alternate Dimensions, Heyday

Anna Hart Everyone will be left watching television (For GM)

Kate Owens The Shadow of Your Shadow
(Performed and printed by J'Nade Alcindor, Saskel Fenton, Maria Da Silva Antunes, Julia Oliveira, Shanaya Nurse from Parkview School with accompanying soundscape by Tommy Grace)

Kate Keara Pelen Since 1961

Yorgos Petrou My Consuming Passion I & II

Michael Taiwo Me and George

Film night: The Princess and the Wonderful Weaver Richard Taylor, 1968, Manufactured Landscapes Jennifer Baichwal, 2006, Pertinho de Alphaville Wendelien van Oldenborgh, 2010, Whose Utopia? Cao Fei, 2006

Music night: Kourelou (Eylem Korkmaz, vocals, Dunja Botic, vocals, Spiros Bolovinis, Bouzouki & vocals, Kostas Kopanaris, percussion, Nikos Kyrios, violin, Pavlos Melas, guitar & vocals)

Writer Ersin Hussein
Graphic design Sam Blunden
Print Xtraprint
Documentation Miles Umney
Fabrication Gordon Dawson
AV ADI Audiovisual
Project assistant Georgina Rowlands
Curators Margot Bannerman & Anna Hart

A real job is to make something is realised in partnership with Parkview School, Frame Projects, Bernie Grant Arts Centre and Central Saint Martins with funding from Arts Council England, Cyprus High Commission and Haringey Council. Thank you to many individuals for their support and in particular to the amazing George Myristis for his extraordinary generosity and inspirational hard work.

Thank you to Ozden, Despo, Fatma, Betty, Winnie at Wearite; Alessandra Savouri; Elena Pippou; Aida Esposito; Pete Courtie, Hakeem Kazeem, Leon Bailey, Wendy Fisher, Ben Casement-Stoll, Dylan at Bernie Grant; Sabrina Malcolm, Alex Costello at Park View School; Deborah Hedgecock at Bruce Castle; Alex Baker; Catherine Yass; Nayia Yiakoumaki at Whitechapel Gallery, Bede Geoghegan Hart, Mohamed Hammoudan, Richard, Ellie Yannas, Ann Eggbert, British Wool.