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