Over the last decade, independent publisher Trolley has published some of the British capital – nay the world's – best books. Concentrating on two linked but usually discrete categories – photojournalism and experimental literature. Among the names on their dozens of spines are talented as distinct as the award-winning Magnum journalist Nina Berman, who contributed a series of returning Iraq war veterns, and Dazed's ex-staff writer Iphgenia Baal, whose Gentle Art was released just two months ago. They recently celebrated a decade in the printing trade with an exhibition and, of course, a new book – an event cast with sadness over the recent death of co-director/founder Gigi Giannuzzi, who passed away ten days ago. Below is co-director Hannah Watson's tale of the show and above are a set of archive shots, chosen by this most extraordinary of publishers.
Trolleyology began after Gigi was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in June last year, after a few months he was already very sick and we thought it would be good to get everyone who had worked with Gigi and Trolley over the years to celebrate all his achievements and show him how much it had meant to everyone or changed their lives. A lot of people had gone on and done other things but he had always been there at key moments, their first book, their first show, or just being in Shoreditch in the nineties onwards when it was still full of artists living and working. In fact it was everyone else who really jumped on the idea of Trolleyology, it is like some weird creative support group with Gigi often the eye in the storm, the one shouting at everyone, bringing everyone together, and it suddenly made everyone realise how much Trolley and Gigi meant to them. Besides Gigi being ill we had never celebrated our tenth anniversary, Gigi had wanted a rave and we were in between gallery spaces waiting for TJ Boulting to be completed, and another location fell through because of money, so I said no to the party at the time, something he never forgave me for! So anyway now seemed like the perfect time to mark our first decade, now that Gigi is gone it seems even more important, to solidify what Trolley is and his legacy for the future and the next ten years. So Trolleyology is a book which will come out later in the Spring as well as an exhibition which is currently on at Londonewcastle Project Space until 27th January.
One thing Gigi said is that he wanted the book to contain new material, so we've asked all the photographers to send in photos over the years, behind the scenes, pre-press as well as after party photos, so each book has its own story woven in to the bigger story of Trolley. And I know that all the amazing photographers, artists and writers that Gigi believed in and gave their first book to feel the same, and what better medium to express it all than in a beautiful book. The exhibition is an introduction to Trolleyology and what the book will be about, and for everyone who knew Gigi to get together and celebrate what a unique person he was, you won't meet many people like him in your life that's for sure. We worked really hard to make the show happen in a short space of time since Gigi passed away on Christmas Eve, with our designers Martin and Wai at Fruitmachine, and film maker Stephen Bell directing a special series of interviews. So it's instead of a memorial really, the funeral at Shoreditch Church was pretty special itself. Artist Paul Fryer sang 'The Impossible Dream' and Salena Godden performed a poem she had written about Gigi which was amazing. We had his wicker coffin covered in white roses with one red in the middle, and placed at the front on top of two golden trolleys welded together, which was our table in the office for years. Then we filled it with his books and lined it with red roses.
Follow Charlie Robin Jones on Twitter here @charliexjones