Trolley is 15. An often tumultuous existence over the years was rooted in founder Gigi Giannuzzi, the only man fearless, or crazy enough, to set up a publishing company just weeks after 9/11, as the rest of the world contemplated its end.
But Gigi started as he meant to go on – dedicating his boundless energy and passion into publishing books of photography and art of stories that were often untold and unseen, difficult to look at, but always beautifully and intelligently presented.
Trolley became known for publishing books quite unlike many that had been done before, working with unknown photographers on their first books that are now celebrated names – Paolo Pellegrin, Alex Majoli, Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin – as well as already renowned and respected photojournalists such as Philip Jones Griffiths, who had found a home for their long-term personal projects that no other publisher would touch.
Trolley’s home itself was divided between Venice and London – Italy for the printing, summers and lock-down getting a book finished, and Shoreditch for the rest of the time, with a small gallery space emerging on Redchurch Street.
It was the time when east London was still affordable enough to encourage a creative melting pot, and Trolley thrived in its midst. I joined in 2005, I’d spent the summer in Venice and lived in east London so the stars had aligned. But after several years the rents were raised and the artists all left, and Trolley found a new home in Fitzrovia, in a beautiful Arts and Crafts building with the new gallery named after it, TJ Boulting.
Things were going well, until tragedy descended and Gigi died a short and cruel death from cancer, passing away Christmas Eve 2012.
- In testimony to all the photographers, artists and writers he had worked with, we put together the only thing we could do under the circumstances – a book, called Trolleyology.
And so the story continues as we reach fifteen, the Trolley is still being pushed, books are still being published, always inspired by Gigi’s legacy and supported by the Trolley family around us, past and present.
TJ Boulting Gallery