Welcome one and all! As the first exhibition of Barter Archive, Barter Outlet is Billingsgate Fish Market’s most trusted and exciting marketplace for our guv’nor Pat Wingshan Wong’s wares. Embracing the culture of barter/banter in the market, the Barter Outlet will open shop in the market’s own Piggy Cafe.
The outlet will feature 70 observational sketches of the fish market created by Pat. It invites the public to exchange their memories of the market with the sketches on display. At the Open House, it will engage with a wide range of activities designed together by Pat and the fishmongers. The public activities include the Oyster Olympics, short films and live performances by the fishmongers, and a surprise guest appearance of Sammy the Seal.
The cafe, as a community hub, is where Pat started to meet people through her sketches, opening up conversations with the fishmongers. The Barter Outlet engages with the fishmongers’ language, for example, barter and banter, and initiates a series of encounters and discussions at the cafe. Barter Outlet is a collaborative process, which incorporates the fishmongers’ concerns about how collective memory could be transformed and presented to the public, shifting the emphasis from the artist’s work to realising the impact that a community has on the way we live.
‘When I first stepped in the market, I discovered the strong community bond here in Billingsgate. However, the market will relocate to Dagenham in 2027. How can I trade in these invaluable memories? I started to barter my sketches for the memorable objects from the fishmongers. I believe transparent negotiation can build up the reputation of my company, and trust is the key to the success of my business. We aim to benefit not only ourselves but also the Billingsgate Fish Market community.’ said our guv' nor Pat.
Barter Outlet: Billingsgate Fish Market
Piggy Cafe, Billingsgate Fish Market, E14 5ST
Outlet trading hours: 26 June - 6 July 2021, 08:30 - 10:30
Outlet Open House: Saturday 26 June 2021, 08:30 - 10:30
Barter Roadshow: Saturday 26 June 2021, 10:30 - 12:00.
Online registration: https://bit.ly/3iohkPg
Acknowledgements: My foremost thanks to the Billingsgate Fish Market community for their generous hospitality and boundless trust in this project. I am deeply grateful for the conversations with my tutors from the Royal College of Art, including Jessie Brennan, Hilary Powell, Debbie Cook, Peter Nencini and Tracey Waller.