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Visual Communication (MA)

Eloise Stringer

I am a multidisciplinary practitioner and filmmaker. I am originally from the remote Cambridgeshire fenland but moved to London to study my foundation and BA at Central Saint Martins. Thanks to my rural upbringing and being immersed in nature since I was a child as well as participation in local village folk events, I am drawn to documenting traditional, historical and cultural rituals, crafts, practices and ways of life. 

I have a passion for satire, activism and social justice, and work within themes of modernising traditional archives, oral histories and intergenerational knowledge exchange. My practice spotlights cultural and traditional heritages, their legacies and their ever-changing circumstances.

I work with a variety of mediums, typically analogue and digital film, sound design, soundscaping and as well as printmaking, drawing and illustration. 

My work predominantly focuses on untold narratives told through stories of individuals characteristic of their communities as a whole, and through it I seek to raise awareness of broader community issues and wider social troubles.

These include the impact of Covid-19 on longstanding organisations, inequality and wealth distribution throughout the UK, as well as climate issues. More recently, I have focused on documenting market cultures in London’s East End, of which I have been a part for several years.

A handmade kite with dowel sits next to a wall. On the kite material there are faded markings of objects like glasses and beads

The methods I employ as a practitioner focus around documenting and observing cultures visually, particularly through film and images, in order to better understand how they work and the challenges and adversities they face. From their experiences, I construct a narrative to tell an otherwise unfamiliar audience of perspectives and ways of life otherwise unseen.

The way I construct my films is very site-focused with almost all archive material and artefacts being made, and research being done, with the help and guidance of local communities through dialogic exchanges and their inherited local knowledge. I seek to immerse myself as much as possible to observe and preserve the moods, characters and zeitgeist of the place successfully in the subsequent works.

These often feature individual voices as storytellers, my own and others, as oral archiving is an incredibly important and traditionally overlooked factor in documenting social histories. This is particularly common in archives where the traditional methodologies in place often overlook certain liminal groups within society, and also the broader lessons their experiences have to tell us about social practice, tradition and latent culture. I seek, through my lens, to overturn traditional paradigms of documentation of marginalised communities often mistrustful of their potentially unjust misrepresentation by outsiders.

My practice has always been inherently participatory; in my films, this means asking communities to guide their representation, through commentaries, narrations and even filming themselves for a first hand perspective in the instance of ‘Brick Lane Kinship & Family’, breaking down the hierarchy of the observer vs observed whilst giving them agency over what they would choose to depict.

Winds of Change TrailerFor more information about the project, and to see upcoming screening times see
empty market stalls sit agains the backdrop of modern flats, looming over The stalls are isolated below
Market Day
a photograph of a large and very old wagon wheel on cobblestones with cracking paint and names inscribed into its rim.
Stall Wheel
in a bin sits squashed and dilapidated signs for the market, there are lots of them rammed in upside-down, rubbish surrounds
Market Signs
A photo of a man sat down behind his market stall with his hood up. his stall has jewellery which he reaches for to organise.
a man stands smiling on a market next to his stall and his wares to sell. He has a scarf on and puffy coat, it is winter.

Winds of Change

The documentary film ‘Winds of Change’ focuses on Bermondsey Antiques Market in South London, which has been operating on its current site since 1947. Since opening, it has undergone rapid urbanisation, environmental change and progressive decline, due in no small part to the gentrification and harsh microclimate of city and river. This has put it in precarious circumstances.

The documentary details the transition of the market from Caledonian Road in Islington (1855-1947) - the market’s heyday - to its current site-post war. From its zenith of 100,000 punters a day; today it is upheld by a devoted core of around 30 traders.

The film features narratives from both past and present, using archival material and sources gained from spending time within the community, of which I have subsequently become part. Seeking to better understand its current state and look to the future, the documentary looks back into traditional ways of life and how their practitioners strive to keep them alive today.

It interrogates what it means to live a life on ‘stones’ of the market, a life on the edge of society, and details oral stories of traders who have had generations of their families live and work there, sharing their highs and lows in a uniquely public sphere.

 Every Friday, wind or shine, through bleak winters and heady summers, they remain and continue to fight through unceasing ‘trials and tribulations’.

A photograph with a standing man looking at the camera, over his shoulder he holds a kite,  which he shows us proudly
Ru and the KiteRu stands in Bermondsey Square with the kite made collectively by myself and the stallholders, ready to fly.
a lady stands posing to the camera showing off the back of her jacket that she has self printed with photosensitive ink
Heather Wearing Her Handmade Cyanotype JacketAfter the day we made the cyanotype kite on the stall, Heather tried the new technique herself at home and made this jacket. She already had prior knowledge of making and selling eco-printed and dyed wares but this was new.
Cyanotype Making Process: Exposure
Cyanotype Making Process: Drying
a piece of material sits atop a market stall, there are glass objects on top of the material, it is being exposed by the sun
Cyanotype Exposure Process
A blue piece of material is stretched over a market stall, it has images exposed onto it
Cyanotype Drying On a Stall
A kite sits in the foreground against a rock, with an antique market in the background, there are customers and it is sunny
Kite at Bermondsey
A kite with dowel sits next to a wall. The silk kite material has objects like glass and beads exposed onto the fabric.
Cyanotype Kite
a print on paper of a faded ghostly figure - jesus with no hands. other parts of the paper are faded with blurred objects.
Jesus CyanotypeI bought this handless Jesus figure at Christmas on the market, then used an image of it to expose onto paper.
a print on paper of a faded ghostly figure - jesus with no hands. other parts of the paper are faded with blurred objects.
Bermondsey Cyanotype
a faded image of a wagon with plans on it and a sign ghostly looking that reads 'Bermondsey Antiques market'
Bermondsey Cyanotype
two men pose for a portrait they are father and son. The son has a very large dog on a chain lead the father has a small puppy
Jim the Elder, Dean the Younger, Fester and BlisterTo be known as a 'true' Cockney, you have to be born within earshot of the Bow Bells in East London. Dean and Jim have lived in Bow their whole lives. I met them over 2 years ago at Brick Lane market where I was working, and they visit. In time were added 2 canine members to their family, Fester and Blister. In the short film I interrogate themes of family and kinship, through the lens of the minutiae of everyday market scenes and the surreality in the stories of those who spend their time there.
Brick Lane Kinship & Family TrailerThis satirical anthropological documentary film is an ode to the community I love and of which I am a part of. It documents the endlessly changing tide of objects for trade, and the imparting of inherited knowledge. But it also examines the less glamorous side of market life: strife, hard graft, and the necessity of kinship in the fight to continue traditional, marginal ways of life against the harsh, ever-evolving backdrop of London. Film & information:
Dean's Narration‘Dean's Narration’ – A snippet from a longer walk with Dean where he describes the surrounding areas on Brick Lane where his granddad used to work. He talks about changes in the pace of life from his grandfather's day and explains how life is a palette to work with. It hints at his background as a craftsman, a master gilder, and how this, as well as his near-death experience, has formed his outlook on life.
Dean's Walk A snippet from 'Dean's Walk' - an anthropological and experimental approach to film where Dean takes agency over my camera and subsequently the way he is perceived by the viewer. It is a counterpart to the longer film 'Brick Lane Kinship & Family’ in which I myself do the documenting, from the other side of the stall.
An older man poses in front of a clothing stall, he smiles, there is a small puppy with its head poking out of his jacket.
'Dad' and Blister
A man in camo clothing leans on his market stall looking at the camera, behind him is various fine antique militaria coats
A elderly man in a wheelchair poses for a photo, he smiles, a man out of shot next to him holds up a book that says abstract art
RaymondRaymond – Raymond used to sell glassware on the market with his father. He has lived in London for all of his 93 years.
A black lady with a hat on looks out at the camera she is standing leaning on her stall looking pensive
DianeBrick Lane trader and also my friend - poses next to her stall.
Let's Compare Hands ClipThis short, experimental, anthropological film looks at the similarities between all human beings, comparing habitual, natural and unconscious actions in relation to a specific site. The wider film questions if this familiarity is related to the formation of 'kinship'.
a collage of paper cut outs of bangladeshi children posing next to brick lane landmarks some of the images are modern some not.
Archival Comparison CollageHandmade using found, archival and personal images of Brick Lane, I aim to show how community spirit, working class heritage and local landmarks transcend time.