‘Paddington Printshop produced posters for the burgeoning squatters rights movement, for community resources, and for acts of social and political activism in the center of London in the mid-1970’s for over a decade…. The posters are visually striking examples of silkscreen and stencil printing at its most vibrant.’
Boo-Hooray, NY Art Book Fair, 2017 edition.
Paddington Printshop produced posters and prints with a social and often political dimension which were intended as aesthetic objects. By producing some of the most vibrant activist posters of the 1970’s, the Printshop became a model for community arts /activist print studios across the UK. This exhibition traces the work of the Printshop, working in central West London, from its launch in 1975 to the huge late ’80’s poster campaign about public housing in Westminster, the most successful London housing campaign in living memory.
We’re proud to present this special show, as we grew out of Paddington Printshop. Like Polish film poster artists – who were an influence – the Paddington Printshop posters were artist-driven. Paradoxically, some of the posters and prints produced by the Printshop have now become collectors’ items.
Unlike many political poster makers of the time, the John Phillips and Printshop team engaged directly with different social causes. This freedom meant that the work produced was often more akin to fine art than commercial design, and at times painterly rather than graphic.
Working with everyone – from community groups to local musicians like the Sex Pistols and Joe Strummer- Paddington Printshop grew to develop a special style. Its relationship with the local community extended the impact of socially engaged art in the UK.