Having left Cyprus in 1958, George Myristis set up Wearite Clothing Company from a basement below his brother’s restaurant in Royal College Street, Camden in August 1961. He bought Lawrence Works, Tottenham 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 London. George employed over one hundred machinists, some for over 40 years, from Cyprus, Turkey, Ireland, Somalia, Ghana, Mauritius, China, to make English country clothing, horse blankets, sleeping bags and the first duvets sold in the UK.
In autumn 2017 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 that manufacturers face from commercial rates and oversees competition. Wishing to highlight something of the factory and its community of making in the contemporary conditions of global manufacturing and consumption, we invited seven artists with interests in ways people work together and in making, to spend time in this place and make new work in response.
Thank you to George for his generosity and inspirational hard work. A real job is to make something was supported by Arts Council England, London Borough of Haringey, Cyprus High Commission and realised in partnership with Parkview School, Frame Projects, Bernie Grant Arts Centre and Central Saint Martins. AiR artists were Mikhail Karikis, Rob Crosse, Rosie Edwards, Kate Keara Pelen, Kate Owens, Yorgos Petrou, Michael Taiwo, Ersin Hussein, Georgina Rowlands, Anna Hart, Margot Bannerman.