"Great idea. Terrible name"
These were the wise words of my publisher when we first met to discuss making my SHIT LONDON blog into a book. He advised changing it to something more palatable to the general public. I ignored his advice which, without any doubt, cost me countless pieces of free publicity in the more cautious sections of the media.
Despite this the book series went on to be a commercial and critical success with many people telling me that they have a copy in their toilet.
SHIT LONDON began in 2010. I’d been taking photos of both funny and vaguely depressing things that I’d spotted on the streets of London for years but until that point had been happy to let the collection languish without purpose on a hard drive somewhere. Instead, motivated by boredom one Friday night, I started a Facebook group on which to post my findings. Within a couple of weeks a community grew of Londoners wishing to share their own photos of misspelt signage, strange street tableaus, bizarrely named shops and cock graffiti.
Since then Facebook community has expanded to almost 90,000 loyal members and has a healthy Twitter following.
A subsequent SHIT LONDON blog became a cult favourite. In 2012 it was archived in its entirety by the British Library as part of their ‘Capturing the Digital Universe’ project who unexpectedly and perhaps unwisely deemed it “essential reading for future generations”.
In 2011 the first SHIT LONDON book was published by Portico. Two more London based books followed (SHIT LONDON II and RUDE LONDON) which were followed by two international spin-offs (SHIT NEW YORK and G’DAY AUSTRALIA).
There have been four exhibitions of SHIT LONDON photographs at The Outside World, Towner & Hoxton Gallery, The Mill.Co Project and at the KK Outlet.
Photographs from SHIT LONDON have appeared in publications such as The Guardian, Time Out, Vice, The Evening Standard, Dazed and Confused, Huffington Post and the Daily Mail.