Maurice Carlin: Temporary Custodians of Islington Mill 2018–2028

Maurice Carlin is an artist and director of Islington Mill, and is the first ever Clore Visual Artist Fellow. Maurice’s ‘Performance Publishing’ series has developed through performances at Regent Trading Estate, Salford (2013) and Excelsior Works, London (2015). In the newest of his series, ‘Temporary Custodians of Islington Mill: 2018–2028’, Carlin has produced 100 unique relief prints taken from the surface of the derelict 5th floor of Islington Mill.

The sale and distribution of this work posits a new approach to owning art, and also forms a key strand of our fundraising project that aims to build a secure future for Islington Mill by paying for essential building renovations (including a collapsing roof) and new expanded artist facilities, including residency spaces and a permanent facility for large-scale artistic production – of which ‘Performance Publishing’ is itself an example. Maurice will donate income from the sale of all 100 pieces to raise funds for the Mill.

‘Performance Publishing’ references ancient Chinese imprinting techniques which reproduced stone inscriptions and allowed information to be duplicated and distributed in the first known form of publishing. By ‘publishing’ the stone flags of the Mill’s floor, Maurice’s work forms a double ‘imprint’ that captures the memory of a creative moment and the physical structure of the Mill itself prior to a radical transformation. The production of the new work was live-streamed daily and edited highlights from the footage are available on the ‘Temporary Custodians’ YouTube channel.

Installation view of Temporary Custodians of Islington Mill, 2018-2028.

Installation view of Temporary Custodians of Islington Mill, 2018-2028.

Our invitation to buy Carlin’s work is also an invitation to come on a journey with us. As part of our ongoing exploration into the concept of ‘Temporary Custodians’, Islington Mill has sought to push available models for the way art is developed, commissioned, valued, owned and collected. As an alternative to a simple act of ownership over a work of art, buyers of Carlin’s works become ‘Custodians’ –  joint owners with the other buyers of this large scale installation and participants in the future life of the artwork. In this way, our Custodians own both a portion of the Mill as it once was, and a stake in the future of what the Mill can become.

Maurice Carlin at work on Temporary Custodians of Islington Mill, 2018-2028

Maurice Carlin at work on Temporary Custodians of Islington Mill, 2018-2028

As of January 2017 we have sold 64 of the 100 prints. Prints are available to reserve and purchase at £1000 each and we can also frame individual prints for an additional £150. Digital images of the remaining prints for sale can be viewed below. Each buyer receives a silver-foiled certificate of purchase and custodianship with their unique artwork, specially designed by Islington Mill artists, Wonder Room. It is possible to purchase work either as an individual or as part of a group or organisation. 12 month payment plans are available and a PDF catalogue of project can be found here: Temporary Custodians CMYK prints

To buy, enquire or reserve, please contact Lucy Lloyd-Ruck or call on 07789 173796.


What does it mean to be a Temporary Custodian?

Islington Mill is sustained by, and thrives off, the collective energy, ideas and opportunities brought by individuals. We are interested in exploring how a work of art can become the catalyst to develop and sustain a community of interest. To this end, everyone who purchases one of Maurice’s prints has the opportunity to become a Temporary Custodian of Islington Mill for the 10 year period from 2018–2028.

This Custodianship may take the role of a friend, patron, advocate, artist or active participant in our future decision-making. The shape of the role is for Custodians themselves to decide, but possibilities for engagement could include get-togethers with other Custodians, either at the Mill or in online discussion forums, invitations to special occasions and one-off artist events, a dedicated online platform for Custodians who might wish to share their own artwork or other interests, and the opportunity to introduce the Mill to artists who may work and exhibit in the new large-scale production space that you’ve helped to make possible on the 5th floor. The possibilities are open and varied and we are excited to hear how we can build on them together.

For more information about buying or reserving a print and becoming a Temporary Custodian, please contact Lucy Lloyd-Ruck ( 07789 173796) or email:

Full pdf catalogue of project can be found here: Temporary Custodians Catalogue

Keep tabs on our progress day by day via our Journal



Support in kind generously donated by Fred Aldous, Morgenrot Beer & Wine Shippers, one69A screen printers & Velvet