Celebrating London's Tube Signs: Community, Pride, and Gentrification with Rob Timm's New Prints

by Electric Gallery
Thursday 9 May 2024

Step into the colourful world of London's neighbourhoods with Rob Timm's new series of prints, where local slang transforms Tube signs into expressions of community pride amidst the city's evolving landscape.

London's Tube signs are not just markers for navigating the city's vast underground network; they are symbols of its diverse and vibrant neighbourhoods. Recently, artist Rob Timm has started a series of prints that change the names of the areas to local slang for the name of the area, reflecting a sense of pride and belonging among residents. However, beneath the surface of this trend lies a complex interplay of gentrification, community identity, and the changing face of London.

Rob Timm, an artist known for capturing the essence of London's neighbourhoods, has recently released a series of prints that celebrate the city's unique slang and character. His journey through London's streets, particularly in areas like Hackney, has provided insight into the deep connection residents have with their communities.

"Going out in Hackney to chat to people about the ‘Ackney’ print was great. I tried to get a microcosm of the people, and everyone was so friendly. There is something about Hackney that welcomes creative people and puts up with crazy artists asking them questions, they just get it!" Rob shares.

Hackney, once a working-class area, has undergone significant gentrification in recent years. Rising house prices and the influx of affluent residents have transformed the landscape, leading to mixed feelings among locals.

"The main thing was that they were all super proud of their town and the diversity that it brings. There are people from all walks of life here, cultures, etc., and they all get on," Rob reflects. "Some people didn’t like the house prices and the council, but then the flip side was some people applauded the council for tidying up the area. Not everyone agrees with each other, but everyone still gets on and loves where they live, good/bad council or not."

Rob's encounters with residents like Rueben shed light on the resilience of communities in the face of change. Rueben, a 23-year-old resident, spoke passionately about his area and the role his shop, Outdoor People, plays in the community.

"I have 3 kids and getting them off devices to go outside and have adventures is a skill I applaud, we need more Reubens," Rob remarks. "Also his tip to check out Hackney Beach (Hackney Marshes) is something I had no clue about, I gotta go and maybe a future print."

Through these conversations, Rob found a common thread: pride in one's city and the power of community. "It was good to speak to people and find out why they loved their city," Rob says. "It made it clear how people are so proud of where they live, and that’s exactly what I wanted to get across in these prints. The power of the people and feeling of belonging."

Rob's new prints serve not only as decorative pieces but also as a celebration of the diversity and spirit of London's neighbourhoods. They capture the unique slang and character of each area, serving as a reminder of the people who call these places home.

As London continues to evolve, Rob's prints stand as a testament to the resilience of its residents and the importance of preserving community identity in the face of change. They serve as a reminder that while neighbourhoods may change, the spirit of London lives on in its people and their stories.

Rob Timm has now released 'Ackney' and 'The Ends', exclusive to Electric Gallery. Be sure to stay tuned to see which area he does next!

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