The Royal Cafe,

2000

1/4

42 x A4 colour photocopies, edition of 5 + 2AP.

This project chronicles about 40 visits over the course of an autumn to a local café: the Royal Café in Camden. I intended to spy on the people in the café but once I was settled at my table on the first day, I realised almost immediately that I was not the undercover persona I imagined myself to be. There is a severity to remaining behind the lens that my semi-automatic smiling wholly undermined. And so, my daily visits developed into a friendship with the family that owned the café and, in particular, with their six-year-old daughter B. By the end of my first visit, I was drawing in my sketchbook with B, and it unfolded from there.

In mid-December 2000, I scanned our book to make a copy for myself then gave the original to B as a Christmas gift. After scanning it, but before gifting it, I obscured all the writing. The Royal Café is a book of drawings and writings, opened and shown hanging in seven rows. A Narrative Diagram of an experience, a friendship, a process.