Local Portrait: Mark Perronet Owner/Curator of Atom Gallery

Written by: Violet Myers

In our ‘Local Portraits’ series we highlight the Inner North London residents, workers and business owners doing amazing things in our corner of London. So far we’ve spoken to Massimo Santoro, owner of the Italian Farmers in Stroud Green, about his former days as a model and what it’s like to start a business in a new country with little grasp of the language. Then we ventured over to Stoke Newington to catch-up with Davina and Michelle, co-owners of Cafe SoVegan, to discuss vegan burritos, changing careers and hosting parties.

Now we’re back in big, bad Stroud Green again and have rocked up on the doorstep of Atom Gallery, our neighbours and one of the area’s creative gems, to speak to Mark Perronet, gallery owner, artist and possessor of many excellent facial expressions.

The Atom Gallery sits on Stroud Green Road, it is home to a variety of contemporary art, design and photography exhibitions, held on a rotating schedule. The gallery’s private viewings are always packed out, with hip looking arty types spilling onto the pavement beyond its doors. A single Aboard sits loftily on the road outside the gallery, usually festooned in some witticism thought up from the recesses of Mark’s creative mind. An artist, gallery owner and specialist in exhibition quality digital and screen prints, Mark is also a funny fucker.

Previously, Mark worked from his Crouch End flat, but when his work and home life got a little too cosy he decided to put up shop in Stroud Green and open a gallery.

Everybody wants to have a gallery, don’t they? Everybody’s arty, I think. It’s a very romantic idea.

Not only does Mark do all of the printing himself, working with a huge and wonderfully nostalgic piece of printing equipment in the back room, he also sources all of the artists he features on his walls, often choosing and representing smaller local artists. He speaks of the joy of selling a piece of work to be displayed proudly in someone’s home.

It’s a huge buzz when you sell something. I make stuff myself so when you sell something it’s always rewarding. The money is good but, on top of that, what’s almost better is that fact that somebody wants to take it away and wants to live with it and that’s the best compliment.

His focus may now be more on selling paintings, rather than creating them, but Mark is still an artist with an impressive portfolio of traditional painting, printing and photography. He studied fine art at Middlesex University, before moving to North London in the early 80’s.

When he left college he didn’t really know what direction to head in and ended up drifting into photography. A twenty-year career followed, during which time he mostly took corporate portraits. It was a living that Mark says was relatively easy, he earned enough money and occasionally a few interesting jobs came his way.

I photographed Ray Davis from The Kinks, it was nice to meet him.

No longer satisfied by the photography industry, Mark set up a free paper called ‘Artswipe’ in order to showcase and share his own and other artist’s work. This is where he began to focus on the art of screen printing.

I did three issues and I interviewed Pure Evil, Dr D and Swifty. A bunch of people in the street art scene. We had an exhibition in the rag factory, just off of brick lane that went really well.

Artswipe proved to be a good starting point in Mark’s work learning how to print for other people. He explains that he essentially gained a pedigree in printing other artist’s prints, learning a lot from the experience of having to create high-quality work for professionals. This was the beginning of things, Mark started to get more screen printing work and doing less photographic jobs. Eventually, he decided he couldn’t be arsed with photography anymore and wanted to pursue printing in more depth.

90% of Mark’s customers are artists wanting high-quality prints for their exhibitions, this makes Mark’s work diverse and ever changing. It also gives him a chance to scout promising new work for his own gallery walls. While many of his customers choose to stick to digital printing, Mark is a highly skilled screen printer, a technique that offers a very different aesthetic. It’s a technique that hasn’t changed since the 1950’s, a very low tech approach that is gaining increased popular in recent years.

I think Screen prints are easier to sell than digital prints because people feel that it’s more of a hand made object. It was all to do with Banksy, that was the beginning of the resurgence of screen printing.

Mark moved to Wood Green from Edinburgh in the 80’s, but now lives more locally near his gallery. Although he’s been sad to watch some of his favourite pubs disappear, he still counts The Faltering Fullback as one of his favourites and loves some of the surprising venues in his local area.

This area’s got a little bit more edge to it, I think. I don’t quite know what it is. For instance, Dotori, brilliant food. It’s quite difficult to get into but the fact that it’s near the railway bridge, I love that, it has a kind of New York vibe. You get this really fantastic food in a grimy location.

Atom Gallery is located on Stroud Green Road and is open Tuesday – Saturday 11pm – 6pm, find them on Twitter and Instagram.


Photos by Mike Barry

Eat & Drink Events Lifestyle List

Top 4 'Christmas is just a bad excuse for a' Winter Markets

By gum there are a lot of winter markets this year. Fueled by sickly sweet mulled wine and overpriced pulled pork sliders, we’ve managed to wade our way through the murky waters of winter markets and find some decent looking ones round this here part of town. Don’t let our Grinch-esq vibes put you off (I’m more of a Pancake Day person myself) because, if you’re into markets, you’ll probably like these. Read on, if you’re merrier than us.

The Vinteriors team and Mary le Comte at Moseyhome in Finsbury Park, North London for 'Style My Shop'.

Style My Shop: Vinterior x Moseyhome

Take a short walk along Finsbury Park’s own sunset strip and you’ll find MoseyHome, an interiors retailer and styling consultancy who have invited us to collaborate with them on an exciting new series titled 'Style My Shop', in which they invite some of London's most talented interiors experts to quite literally style their shop. Interiors porn at it's finest.

Eat & Drink Events List

Top Five "It's That Time Of Year Again" Things To Do This Winter

Why was the snowman sad? Because he had a meltdown. Much like us, every year, when winter comes. It’s cold, it’s dark, and we know Christmas is on its way. But hey, it’s not all bad – the events round this time of year can be pretty swell. So don your scarf-shawl-blanket and get your frolic on, it’s time for fairy lights, scarfing mulled wine and stuffing your face!

Hand feeling colourful splashes of artwork at Smith and Sinclair Flavour Gallery
Culture Eat & Drink Events

Suck it at The Flavour Gallery

Touch, taste, smell, hear and create art. Smith & Sinclair, purveyors of the Edible Cocktail, presents The Flavour Gallery: a multi-sensory adventure that’ll seduce your senses and tickle your taste buds beyond all imagination. Ooh matron!

Hodgepodge on Crouch Hill, North London. New restaurant opening November 2017
Eat & Drink

New Opening: Hodgepodge Crouch Hill

Offering modern British cuisine with a smokey twist, Crouch Hill's newest contender to its foodie scene, Hodge Podge, is all minimal styling and hearty yet inventive dishes.

Cartoon of vampires standing in tunnel for London Horror Festival
Events List

Top 4 ‘Eat, drink and be scary’ All Hallows haunts

Brush the cobwebs off your sexy banana costume; it’s that time of year to make a tit of yourself in fancy dress again. We’ve rounded up the most spine-chilling Halloween happenings in North London and, trust us, they sound horrendous. Be afraid, be very afraid.

Eat & Drink Events

The Moroccan Medina at The Queen of Hoxton Rooftop

God bless the Queen... of Hoxton. Or, more specifically, their rooftop - which happens to be one of our favourites in this here city of London. These guys are well known for creating beautiful, seasonal pop-ups which have included the Nordic Viking themed 'Skye Halla' and the Neverland inspired 'Bangarang'. This winter make way for 'The Moroccan Medina', a sky high hideaway inspired by the romanticism of the beguiling ancient city of Marrakesh.

Mento, floristry cafe in finsbury park, North London
Eat & Drink

Mento: Flowers and Coffee

Next time you need a caffeine hit why not take it from a cup brewed from Jamaican beans grown under a canopy of rainforest-preserving trees, whilst eating a home made vegan banana bread as you sit among an array of sweetly scented blooms. Welcome to Mento, Finsbury Park.

Eat & Drink

Pilgrim: A Unique Spanish Pop-up Dining Experience

Pilgrim, the newest kid to Hackney's pop-up scene, is a unique dining experience inspired by the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage. This six course tasting menu includes regional dishes with a contemporary twist not yet seen before in London.

Amelia Donkor as Rose standing in shadow behind Ian McDiarmid as Enoch Powell holding speech at Park Theatre

Theatre: What Shadows

Recent times have seen an unnerving surge in right-wing politics. President Trump’s campaign to ‘make America great again’ saw him make the audacious promise to ‘build a wall’. France saw the uneasy ascent of Marine Le Pen’s National Front in its general elections and Germany’s AfD, (the first openly nationalist party in almost six decades) celebrated an unprecedented third place victory in its recent elections.

Dog being petted, North Four magazine

Dogtober Doggy Brunch at The Narrowboat

Bark bark bark. Bark! Woof! Yep, you heard it straight from the dog’s mouth. Dogtober (definitely a real thing) is in full swing and The Narrowboat is hosting their annual Doggy Brunch next Saturday 21st October. Bone Appétit!

Eat & Drink Events

Magic Roundabout's Retro Winter Wonderland

Summer is officially over. We're not sure it ever began in the first place. I guess that's one of the few downsides of living in London (other than crippling debt, tube strikes and Boris Johnson), but I digress... Magic Roundabout Old Street is raising the bar for winter, transforming the site into a tented, heated, 'Decades' inspired wonderland.

Slow roasted lamb shank shawarma at Fat Macy's supper club in The Luminary Bakery, Stoke Newington
Culture Eat & Drink Events

Fat Macy's Middle Eastern Feast

Guess who’s back, back again. Fat Macy’s back, tell a friend. No, really. Tell everyone about it. Fat Macy's supper club came back into our lives and this time around they had their Middle Eastern Feast on at the cute as a button Luminary Bakery in Stoke Newington, with a menu inspired by Ottolenghi and the #CookForSyria campaign.

North Four Magazine, Alcotraz, London, Pop up, Prison Bar, Hackney, East London
Eat & Drink Events

We Spent the Night in Alcotraz

Getting shouted at by a burly prison guard with a buzz cut and an offensively loud American accent isn't usually the way one wishes to begin one's night. Nevertheless, as I clamber into a very large (cheers guys) orange jumpsuit, the guard shoves a bottle of Conkers Gin wrapped in a thin towel (no fluffy Egyptian cotton here lads), into my now somewhat clammy hands. Whispering hastily at me to not get caught by the warden I'm ushered off in single file into the depths of Alcotraz.

North Four, North London magazine, new beacon books, uk first black bookshop, books, refurb, campaign, reopened, mini black market, event, stroud green road
Culture Events

New Beacon Books Mini Market

If you haven’t heard the news yet, the world’s first black bookshop is back. Yes, after months of campaigning for funding and volunteers, New Beacon Books has reopened after threat of closure with a brand new refurb to boot. Established in 1966 by John La Rose and Sarah White, New Beacon Books is the UKs longest running independent bookshop specialising in African-Caribbean literature, cards and artwork.

North Four, North London magazine, cocktail, mint gun club, stoke newington, tea room, london cocktail week, drinks, alcohol
Eat & Drink List

Top Four “Hold My Phone I'm Going In” Cocktails

London cocktail week is upon us. To be honest I can think of nothing worse than strapping on a wristband, carrying around a guidebook and queuing up for something that just needs to be brought to my sorry, tired old lips immediately. Apparently this year however, Drink Up London have released an app that eliminates all of the above nonsense. Get your ticket, download the app and get enjoying your £6 cocktails all week long. Just remember to flash your digital pass to the bartender first.