Maha's Diary - 'Lost East London'

Maha’s Diary – Lost East End  


Maha, our new Heritage Participation Trainee and is keeping an illustrated heritage blog of her time at Oxford House. 


Greetings Oxford House friends,


My name is Maha Shami. I am an Artist and the Heritage Participation Trainee at Oxford House. My Oxford House Diary uses reportage illustration. Reportage is a type of visual documentation where an artist’s captures a moment in time. This is where I draw from life to document what is happening around me at Oxford House. Using a visual diary allows me to express my thoughts and emotions. I write to do lists and make sure I keep track of what needs to be done at work. I have a passion for storytelling, and I want to share that with you.  


Today’s post is about our fantastic new exhibition Lost East End: Philip Cunningham’s 1970’s Photographs. The exhibition brings together images of Philip’s neighbours, friends, campaigners, and streets in Tower Hamlets. The exhibition gives the sense of what life was in this period in East End of London, woven together with Philips stories of the people and places. Something that felt very impactful to me was how personal the captions were that went along with each image. I felt like I had an insight into Philips diary, and it was emotional, personal, and thought provoking. The best part of the new launch evening was hearing from Philip a couple of the stories that come to mind about the East End when he was growing up. I also really enjoyed meeting his friends and family and talking to the locals. 


 This post is going to be a little bit different as I want to share some of the design work I did while working on the exhibition.  Picturing this exhibition, we wanted to think about 1970’s patterns and colours and so I put together a pdf exploring colours, textures, and fonts to pass on to the designer. We wanted to carry these ideas through into the marketing also. I am excited to share this with you as though many of the ideas are different from the outcome, I always find the process of getting to the end very fun.  


We are planning to have plenty more activities, exhibitions and open days surrounding our archive and we hope you can come with us to find out more about Oxford House and the history of Bethnal Green.


Exhibition: Philip Cunningham’s ‘Lost East End’ – Exhibition Lost East End 


197o’s East End Film Night – 1970s East End Film Night




I used photoshop to create this Instagram post

Tests for the e-invite to the private view and marketing ideas.



Photographs of the final exhibition.