Search
  • Jo Clement

A visit to Camden

Camden Market is immense. After wandreing around for a few hours I ate a tray of top Japanese noodles, found a vintage specs shop, drank a hot mulled wine and showed the most restraint I have ever had to show in any shopping arena. Okay, perhaps not true restraint, I am poor and try to be staunch.



Things that I almost bought but didn't due to my lightweight purse and already full suitcase include: more than five pairs of old school cats eye specs, a pristine green Adidas tracksuit top, an adorable stuffed otter complete with glistening faux river, a top hat, a 1920's navy sailor girl dress, several pairs of brogues, an unusual silver ring, a mink stole, a huge Victorian jelly mould, a beautiful but very expensive painting of a Sappho-esque lady...I'm mourning them all!


From one stall, I bought two leather wristbands. They smell as good as they look. The darker brown of the two is stamped with CAMDEN. STABLES. LONDON. in a light impression. The tan wristband is deeply stamped STAY. STAY. STAY. STRAIGHT. AND. WAIT. with punched out stars. No two are the same. Leather is one of my favourite smells. It typifies the roots of the Horse Markets and the authenticity of the goods they sell. Stamped with words, these bracelets remind me of experiments in textiles back in the days when I wanted to work in fashion. I always liked the sturdiness of linen, the earthy smell and thickness of it. Free writing using a machine, I would trace lyrics or stab stitch each letter of the names of my favourite musicians, pinning them on the inside of my satchel, the pockets of denim jeans or jackets. I've got no idea where they are now but these were my early day attempts at revolt: Nick Cave, The Stranglers, Manics.  


The meeting of words and fabric is something I must, must return to. Material plays a big part in my poems, mainly because I am interested in touch as a troupe and the roles fabric plays in society. From babies we are wrapped in it, we grow attached to cuts of fabric, it keeps us warm in bedclothes. We wrap our most precious books in it. Fabric allows us to express or conceal whatever myths we want to sell about ourselves - taste, sexuality, gender, worth. And in the end, well we all get wrapped in the same winding sheet.

Visitor Number: 2978941

All content © Jo Clement