Richard Ardagh of New North Press & friends has put on a lovely exhibition of letterpress prints inspired by British folklore at the Hand of Glory pub on Amhurst Road. Hail the coming of spring! Ward off evil spirits! Bring fertility to the land! Richard has summoned up a collection of letterpress prints to mark the coming of spring. The festivities began at the start of May and will run until the second week in June.The show’s subject was informed by a visit to Whitby, North Yorkshire during May Day celebrations which has haunted Ardagh ever since: ‘Watching Morris Men dancing with longswords at the bottom of Stoker’s hundred and ninety nine steps and clapping eyes on a real Hand of Glory in the local museum – potent imagery that’s been lurking in the shadows of my mind since.’
The show features three new hand-printed limited edition letterpress posters:
London Mayday highlights the origins of certain May Day traditions which began in the city as the Milkmaids and Chimney Sweep’s celebrations, rather than the nature-inspired rural festivities we think of them as now.
Walpurgis reveals the original lyrics to Black Sabbath’s War Pigs (first written about a witches coven, and later rewritten amidst fear of religious cults in the wake of the Manson killings).
Hand of Glory expands on the venue’s name by combining an associated incantation with an intricate glow-in-the-dark illustration of the mummified felon’s hand by French.