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Ziggy played guitar – and bought his tights at Woolworths!

  • July 22, 2022July 22, 2022

One of my overwhelming feelings in the recent lockdown was that of nostalgia. By nature, I tend to think about the past, but the never ending sense of time took me back to my school holidays in the 1970s. I started to get inspired about the mundane suburban south London life of my youth; the high street gossip of my mother, the shopkeepers and the playground rumours. Some possibly still exist in fading, collective memories, but as I started to paint, I realised that most of the things I remembered had never been recorded.

Gram Hilleard introducing his ‘Escaping in Suburbia’ exhibition, July 2022

Bride of Catford, by Gram Hilleard

Gram Hilleard is an artist and photographer of the urban realm who communicates visually. One of Gram’s paintings, wonderfully titled ‘Ziggy played guitar – and bought his tights at Woolworths’ can be viewed at the Ventnor Fringe Festival on the Isle of Wight from Friday 22nd – Sunday 31st July 2022.


The Earth Museum is delighted to be partnering with Gram on an experiment to map his unique insights into the fine grain of place, piloting our Create The Earth Museum platform. His work reminds us vividly of the powerful interweaving between memories, anecdotes and spaces in our lives that bring real meaning to concepts of place and community.

We have created an exhibition mapping each of his works to the south London places and memories which inspired them. Explore and enjoy Gram’s work on a desktop or laptop with a cup of tea in hand.


This map uses our pilot ‘Create The Earth Museum’ platform and is best viewed on a desktop or laptop with a cup of tea or a glass of wine! On a mobile, it is best viewed with the latest versions of Firefox, MS Edge and Chrome browsers in locations with good WiFi/ phone signal strength. We’re still working on Safari!


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