© 2012 Mari Boman All rights reserved.
The so-called ghostsigns are advertising signs hand printed onto walls. This used to be a popular form of advertising mainly from late 19th century to sometime in the middle of the 20th century in Britain and a few other countries, such as France and Belgium. Some still exist but many are faded or completely vanished as gentrification often brings destruction of old buildings to make space for new. Today, most of us walk past them day after day without noticing – we barely see them, yet when we do their existence might reminds us of the past in an often uncanny way. It is as if the ghostsigns exist in a liminal space between past and present.
Each sign has its own story to tell: it might say something about the area or street it is located in, or about the same building it is painted on, or simply about the history of advertising of this particular brand. Some of these histories cannot be told in short form, but instead need time and attention to be fully appreciated.
With special thanks to Sam Roberts, founder of the portal www.ghostsigns.co.uk