High Street X – “Hello, can I give you a hard sell?”

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It’s amazing just how polite people are. I guess what goes around comes around. My sales pitch usually starts with the question “Hello, can I give you a hard sell?” I go on to explain that High Street X is a embodiment of some aspects of my forthcoming major retrospective and is a project inspired by the DIY ethic of the post-punk era, updated to include the techniques of the commercial world in order to promote the values of the cultual world whilst being a satire on that very same world.

Don’t knock it. It works.

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The New Bank of X pop-up bank

Manners cost nothing and I only got one refusal all day at the first FORGE contemporary art, design & craft fair on 23rd June 2013, organised by Sheffield’s Hallam Roses Women’s Institute.

In a world awash with misleading advertising, scam phone calls and charity muggers, the honesty of it is disarming.

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Cheesy snacks and hi-vis fashionwear

A gambit I have not tried before is offering homemade cheesy snacks. They were quite popular and gave me yet another way of luring people to my stall. Expect more snack-based marketing in future.

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The Black Daffodil Press pop-up bookshop

Also, freebies are always welcome. In this instance, the Stalky Ringbits Memorial Beer Mat was my initial talking point and I point out his motto is “Flaunt it now, because you can’t take it with you.”

I am taking that advice so expect more soon…

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High Street X at FORGE Contemporary Art & Craft Fair, Sheffield, Sunday 23rd June 2013

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“If you want a picture of the [high street], imagine a [betting shop replacing] a [book shop]—forever.”
– After “Nineteen Eighty-Four” with apologies to George Orwell.

What’s wrong with our high streets and what should we do about it?

One 23rd June 2013 I will have a stall at FORGE Sheffield Contemporary Art & Craft Fair and will be presenting my vision of a dystopian present, where every other shop is closed, and those that are not are sweatshop brand outlets, over-priced coffee franchises, pawnbrokers or banks. In my nacent commercial hell I will have a pop-up bank, a pop-up bookshop and a pop-up tuck shop.

High Street X is only one of 30 different high-quality arts and craft stalls, and most of them are not cynical indictments of post-branding commercial exploitation, so come along!

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The event is in support of Hallam Roses Women’s Institute and Roundabout Sheffield young people’s housing charity

Website here and Facebook event here.