Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A former corner grocery in Seddon reminds itself about its past, then forgets again

Back in September 2012, I started my inner-west signwriting exhibition project by cycling to 50 locations where the former Lewis & Skinner company had once painted a sign, as recorded in the  records I found and turned into an online archive: www.lewisandskinner.com

At each location I dropped off a photocopy of the Lewis & Skinner job sheet for that sign, plus a customised postcard inviting the residents to come to my forthcoming exhibition.

The first building I visited on my rounds was a former grocery in Seddon where a Fishers Wax sign had been painted in 1952. I still pass that building every morning on the way to work. On that morning I left the job sheet in the door. (I tell the story of that first day of dropoffs here: http://findingtheradiobook.blogspot.com.au/2013/09/today-my-first-lewis-skinner-document.html)

This is what the grocery looked like at the time:

...and here's the job sheet, taken from: http://www.lewisandskinner.com/items/show/874

I didn't get any follow-up from the owners, but earlier this year, I noticed this in the front window - a cool little nod to the building's history:

Then the other day I went past again, and the sign had vanished once more:

I enjoyed the quiet intervention while it was there, but also don't so much mind its removal, which is much like the ephemeral character of the actual ghost signs it emulates or reproduces. Must get back there sometime and interview the owners if they're up for it :)

A northwards trip: old signs in Broadford, Seymour, Euroa, Violet Town and Swanpool

The other weekend I took off to see a friend near Swanpool, taking in a few signs along the way. Here they are. Firstly Broadford:



Swanpool - taken at the fabulous general store and cafe, whose owner is quite the collector of local ephemera:

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A recent tyre sign uncovering in Prahran - from the 1920s

Drove past this Perdriau Tyres sign the other day - the latest of a series of great uncoverings in the arterial roads of the eastern suburbs of Melbourne. This sign is older than 1929 - the company merged with Dunlop that year: http://www.eoas.info/biogs/A000528b.htm

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Painted Ghost Signs Community Conservation Project - collaboration between Port Phillip Council and Melbourne University

A new ghost sign collaboration project is underway between the City of Port Phillip and the University of Melbourne. Called the Painted Ghost Signs Community Conservation Project, they're seeking people to help document and digitally preserve ghost signs across the municipality.


New ghost sign article featuring yours truly, this time in the Guardian's UK edition

A big thanks to Melbourne writer (and ghost sign fan) Nick Gadd for this great article.