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MxLL – Frog Morris & Daren Callow

Frog Morris is a performance artist and Daren Callow is a singer-songwriter, they first met at Goldsmiths University in 2007.

Frog Morris also works as an artist, curator, comedian, designer, stage manager, magic lanternist and bingo caller. Daren Callow can be seen playing guitar with Dare To Be Charlie and Alan Reed & the Daughters of Expediency.

For Musicity x Low Line, Frog and Daren created a piece in response to the marketplace of the Blue Market in Bermondsey.

Here, they share their insights:

 

The Tale of South Bermondsey is inspired by The Bermondsey Lion, a statue that stands at the front of the Blue Market place in Bermondsey.

A market place on South London is clearly not the natural habitat such a beast, why is he there?

Many people might jump to the conclusion that this is the lion featured on the strip of local football club Millwall, but the real truth is that he is much, much older.

Millwall appropriated the lion from a nearby pub sign, which had in turn taken this emblem from much older local buildings. The Lion was originally a heraldic symbol gifted to Bermondsey by Richard II in 1399, back then Bermondsey had a venerable Abbey. The Lion has of course witnessed many changes over the centuries. The Abbey was dissolved by Henry VIII and fell into ruin. Factories and warehouses then took over this area near the docks and the city. Bemondsey became overcrowded with people looking for work and then there was the war and then the factories closed. What could this place become next? The Lion is a symbol of bravery. People here were brave enough to face the challenges and changes of the past and they can do it again.

Fishmonger Russell Dyden keeps his stall next to the statue and introduced us to the Lion when we came to play a Christmas Fair on a snowy day in 2011. We found ourselves stood by the statue and entertaining crowds with songs and rhymes at numerous local events since. We felt the Lion needed a song we could sing about him and his neighbours. Russell and his friends who work around the Blue Market have shared with us the Lion’s tale and we are here to tell it to you now.

 

Credits:

The Tale of South Bermondsey’ by Frog Morris and Daren Callow releases June 1 as part of London Festival of Architecture.

To listen to ‘The Tale of South Bermondsey’, open the Musicity x Low Line Web App and go to the Blue Bermondsey market place!

Musicity x Low Line is commissioned by Better Bankside, Team London Bridge, Blue Bermondsey.

With thanks to: London Festival of Architecture, Flanagan Lawrence Architects, ARUP.

Photo credit: Frog Morris & Daren Callow.