Southsayer style special: Emma Broughton, stonemason/sculptor & Sarah Counsell, barrister


Worse thing anyone’s ever said to us? ‘I don’t go south of the river, luv’ Sarah Counsell and Emma Broughton …



Worse thing anyone’s ever said to us? ‘I don’t go south of the river, luv’

E&S PORTRAIT Sarah Counsell and Emma Broughton have lived in and around Brixton for over 20 years. They’ve lived together in this flat for 15 years and have shared it with a variety of cats and rats. “Yes,” they say, “we know it’s a cliche.” Both have undergone career changes in that time, Sarah from managing volunteers to becoming a barrister for the CPS and Emma from creating illustrations and animations in new media to becoming an award-winning sculptor, and one of the team who created the prow decoration for the Royal Barge that carried the Queen in the jubilee flotilla.

Have a nose around their flat. (Captions in their own words.)

Describe your style
We thought it was minimal but can’t seem to stop buying things, so eclectic?
barnados brixton

What are your favourite south London places for buying stuff for your home?
Barnardos in Brixton is definitely the number one favourite but the other charity shops in Streatham are also good. In fact most of our favourite things come from charity shops, car boot sales or eBay.

What’s your favourite thing in your home?
It’s difficult to narrow it down and when we were talking about this it turned out that one of Emma’s favourites, Sarah would have been happy to live without. Generally its the thing we have bought most recently.

Where would you like to live?
We don’t want to live anywhere else in London.

What is your earliest south London memory?
Coming out at Brixton station and going to the 7/11 and listening to the lady playing the comb while selling her glittery pictures of fish and birds. But to be honest most memories have been lost in the Prince Albert on Coldharbour Lane when Pat was the landlady, oh and Brady’s of course.

Who or what do you hate and why?
Our neighbour who uses the front of our house as a car graveyard.

What’s the worst thing anyone’s said to you?
I don’t go south of the river, luv…

Where do you hang out?
Brixton, Camberwell and Kennington, at home a lot and Emma’s studio in Burgess park.

loughborough estate block brixton cropYour favourite south London building or landmark? The Ritzy in Brixton and the Le Corbusier-esque high rise blocks on Loughborough Estate.

What simple thing would improve your quality of life?
Car drivers with a better attitude to cyclists. And a Luton van with a tail-lift.

What is your favourite dish and why?
Emma loves tomatoes and the thing we cook most often for guests is lezzie laz (vegetarian lasagne).

Describe yourselves as an animal…
Pugs and French bulldogs are Emma’s “people”, Sarah is more of a manatee.

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See more of Emma Broughton’s work at her website

Words & photography: Kate Burt


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