300 years, one exhibition

  • Elli Stuhler
  • Sybbie Marquez
  • Julius Pasteiner

300 years ago, St James's Market was a bustling marketplace. But up until 6 months ago, it was mostly a taxi rat-run. We created an open-air exhibition for what is now a newly revitalised public square. The brief was simple: fit 300 years of history under one roof. In the depths of a research rabbit hole, we discovered an 18th century ballad set in St James's Market and went on to retell the tale across more than 100 vignettes illustrated by James Graham and narrated by Stephen Fry.

My role was to direct the translation of the ballad into an immersive, narrative-driven cabinet of curiosities. I worked with illustrator James Graham to ensure each illustration contributes to the ballad's narrative in a way that is clear and engaging. Meanwhile, I kept obsessive contact with an 18th century ballad expert in California to ensure our work was done with historic and academic integrity.
Once done, we invited everyone for a party to launch the public art program at St James's Market. That's me, smiling on the left.

Here is some coverage by It's Nice That, and here you can listen to clips of Stephen Fry reading the poem, per my narration brief.