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With social media selfies and sunset postcards we often present our experiences as better than they are in reality.
I propose the return of the postcard, but with a more sincere reflection of life and visits to London. ‘It’s London’ is a series of eight limited edition, hand-made letterpress and screen-printed cards that tell it like it is. Stripped down to a single word, using rearranged and enlarged letters taken directly from the now defunct ‘The London Paper’, with extended thoughts to each word on the back, as follows:
It’s big Greater London covers an area of 611 sq miles (1,583 sq km), surrounding the longest river in England - The River Thames. A ring of undeveloped land known as ‘The Green Belt’ prevents London’s expansion, though it’s population of over 8.5 million people continues to rise.
> billboard paper - folds A6 to A4
It’s a circus
London’s ancient entertainment was once described as ‘bread and circuses’; a method of keeping common people happy and rebellion-free, distracting them from how the city was run. Some argue this now exists as football, shops and restaurants.
> contains recycled holograms
The Great Smog of 1952 caused the worst air pollution in UK History, reducing visibility to just a few metres. Today, despite vast improvements, poor air quality is linked to 1 in 5 deaths – though does create some fantastic skies.
> white card
On roads, on pavements, in shops – London always seems rushed, with competition on every level. City living is thought to double the incidence of schizophrenia... perhaps it improves our reflexes?
> tracing paper
According to the UK Met office there is an average of just 4 hours of sunlight per day in London. Bleak.
Though costs vary according to area and preference, London is the one of the most expensive cities in the world. Reported to have the most expensive public transport, a single tube journey can cost over £5 (the only solution is to cycle or walk).
> contains Pound Sterling banknotes
Some regard the 2012 London riots as a result of obsessive consumerism. Though this remains uncertain, previous London riots have had clear motives; Brixton riots in 1981, 1985 & 1995 against police actions, Notting Hill race riots in 1958 and gin tax riots in 1743, (fuelled by consumption of the drink itself).
> hammer card - damaged
It is estimated that we are never further than 18m from a rat in London. (We can’t blame the rat though – our increasingly mobile population feasts on fast food, leaving remnants behind, helping rats to retain the status of second most successful animal on earth).
> brown buff recycled card