This performance piece was commissioned by Bob and Roberta Smith as part of a public art project involving collaborations with local trades people to create works that highlighted the advantages of shopping at retail establishments within local communities and the social and cultural disadvantages of the homogenised shopping experience offered by retail conglomerates, malls and parks.
Bob and Roberta Smith routed gallery visitors around Hoxton's streets to look at historic shop signage as well as making new signs for well known local business such as 'Ron's Eel and Shell Fish' and 'Hoxton Electrovision'. The former featured as a poster for Transport for London's Platform for Art artists commissioning programme.
'Shop Local' formed part of the Shoreditch Festival organised by the independent arts organisation Peer.
Leigh Clarke's performance was staged at Tannery Arts on 19th August 2006 and formed part of a programme of performances by the artists Frog Morris, Jemma Freeman and the Ken Ardley Playboys. Its distinctiveness lay in the creation of a monologue with music that brought the delivery and timing used by the stand-up comic into the realm of live performance in an exhibition gallery. In this way a radical message about the increasing public neglect of local businesses could be conveyed but in a way entirely different to the preacher or formal orator.