Peckham Means Business Exhibition

Part of #PeckhamisOpen

Peckham Means Business celebrated 30 independent shops and shopkeepers located on the streets and markets off Peckham’s Rye Lane. In a playful collaboration between Mountview, 30 independent traders and 30 school children from Harris Academy the exhibition was a mix of portraiture in photography and drawing, audio-recorded storytelling and a mapping installation.

This exhibition was on display 2-18 Dec 2019 at Mountview.



The traders’ portraits were captured in photography and pencil drawing. The portraits focused on the characters and personalities of the shopkeepers as well as highlighting the eclectic emporiums, off Peckham’s Rye Lane, where it is possible to shop for a diverse collection of products from all around the world.

The portrait photography captured the mesmerising and colourful scenes of trading in Peckham together with an intimate image of each trader. Each of the ‘close-up’ portrait photographs were paired with a drawn portrait.  These drawings were created by school children from Harris Primary, offering likenesses of each trader’s face through their eyes. These art-pieces were created through workshops in which the pupils learned about local traders, their businesses and the global nature of the products on their local high street.

Meet the traders below.


Keeping Peckham’s shopping area firmly on the map.  The exhibited traders were featured on an interactive map to further raise the profile of Peckham’s rich and varied selection of shops. Created using Google, the map makes it easy to find and visit each trader, encouraging support for Peckham’s vibrant personality-packed high street.


100 years trading in Peckham. Right next to Mountview is Whitten’s Timber Yard, a local, family run business that celebrated its centenary in 2019.  The Peckham Means Business Exhibition marked this momentous anniversary, celebrating the Whitten family’s service to the people of Peckham and south London.  Alongside the Peckham Trader Portraits, Mountview hosted an installation of Whitten’s Timber Yard’s archive of the Surrey canal, Eagle Wharf and the Whitten site through history.  The archive was displayed in a custom made pop-up shed which will also hosted audio-recordings from Mr. Robert Whitten about his family’s 100 years trading in Peckham. Stories included:

  • The Whitten Family
  • The Canal
  • Working Dockside
  • Filling in the Canal
  • The High Street
  • Shopping & Trade
  • Now and Looking Forwards
  • Memories

Thanks to:
Southwark Council for funding #PeckhamisOpen
Harris Primary Academy Peckham Park, Marmont Road, London SE15 5TD
Ms S Caël Art specialist
The children in year 4, 5 and 6 who took part
The Traders
Mr Whitten and the Whitten Family
The People of Peckham

Creative Team
Sarah Preece – CEO of Mountview and Creative Producer for the Home Project
Katherine Leedale – Photographer Workshop Facilitator and Artist
Celeste – Applied theatre practitioner, Director, Teacher and Mountview Alumna
Tigi Fadika – Mountview Front of House, Events and Communications Practitioner and Local Resident Outreach Assistant
Becky Shaw – Writer and Programme Manager at Mountview