Thursday 13 December 2012


Kajsa Johansson is a young Swedish photographer who has completed her Photography degree at Middlesex University and now teaches fellow students C-Type darkroom printing. Her latest work  Considering Corners captures the mood of the East-end where she has been living for the last 2 years. She uses colour film and Mamiya 7 rangefinder. She submitted her work after reading my article in the latest Uncertain States issue 12.

Many aspects of the Considering Corners drawn my attention and I am going to explain why her work is relevant and unique. First, Kajsa decided to use film to capture her daily life. It comes today a bit as a surprise when a young artist decides to use film because it feels like incompatible with younger practices. Nevertheless after meeting with Kajsa it all makes sense. She is a timid, reflective and sensitive person who requires time to let the impressions come to her. She is not attracted to produce many bodies of work to sharpen the versatility of her medium but she rather discovers the world around her with at a slower pace, harmony and doubts. Kajsa walks her Hackney streets every day and senses the rawness or reality of the present. To her, as she realises, Hackney is the only and perfect place for her to feel and live that sentiment, because its constant unpredictability makes it very appealing. Reading the title one might expect to observe a succession of corners that would depict something very literal but instead Kajsa frames mundane scenes that transcend their banal state. Her photographs are never truly frontal neither using tricks or repetitions. Most pictures are produced with low light conditions and her film absorbs the ghostly presence of the moment chosen.

Those images have been taken in the last year and half whilst the East-End was bursting with the  Olympian momentum and all that follows. But again, there is no reference at all to that recent episode. Instead, Johansson walks and photographs with no attention to the vast rejuvenation or sporting event nearby. Her eye is attracted to the sense of space that emerges from the East-End and Hackney especially. This part of the world is her new life, something she might have expected for a while maybe, without knowing it. She tells me: "Hackney is a place where things can happen, a community that shares and where its marginality enables me to believe that things can be done out of nothing". Well, maybe it is me who is saying that on her behalf, but I understand what she means because I have felt the same whilst living for years in the borough. And things happened then, a lot of good things. Maybe not all good as we might expect but this is Life at its best, a place where your senses and moods are extremely sensitive. It is a place that does not allow rest, it is a place bursting with vigor and exchange.

So Kajsa Johansson isn't showing corners as dead-ends, final destinations, remains or alienation. She is capturing beautifully a reality that most people do not question or reject. Her photographs reveal in fact a lot of subtle touches that she should analyze deeper to understand many factors as much historical as emotional. She is obviously very attracted to walls (and I am too) The walls framed not only reveal patterns but most importantly a finish and layers of time as if you were to cut a tree to read its rings. The East-End, as most East parts of capitals, attracts the foreigner because it is more affordable, there is a sense of solidarity and because customs of various communities merge better. This is the place where many have lived, settled, made business and got back or moved on. This is a land of experiment where you start from scratch and you make your best to leave your mark or to get noticed. That need for imprint is essential and unique in the East-End. This is a statement of labor, determination, belief or despair that can be found the multi-layering of painted walls or fences. Before we envisaged the new term Graffiti there were signs of life, passages and attempts which are relevant in this part of London. And maybe that is what Kajsa's corners are about, about delivering those instinctive and almost paranormal messages that make the urban landscape of Hackney so special. In fact her "non-characters" images are full of presences. As I always say, London isn't so much about beautiful architecture but it is about people. And I think Kajsa feels the same. Even by avoiding photographing people she succeeds in portraying the essence of a place by focusing on details left by its inhabitants.

Kajsa Johansson's photographs do appeal to me a lot too because they are humble. They are shot at human scale and strictly show what she sees. There is no radicalism or structured method in her approach and she leaves room to improvisation, surprise and introspection. She alternates distances and subject matters that will create a coherent and justified ensemble. She can be photographing from across the street where the sky will appear, but she can also isolate one detail from the pavement and be read more strict of minimalist. She can photograph the nearby and frame one unique element, or can can play with geometries of the urban ever-changing resurfacing and produce some laughter. Her series could be read as dull or depressing for many, but for me there are full of humanity and anecdotes. Works that are often perceived as not strong enough and often much more revolutionary, progressive and playful that one might think.

Finally I would like to quote Walker Evans on a lecture he gave at Harvard University in 1975, two days before he died: "I haven't  got a rational structure and the expressible, critical opinion of what the subject in front of me means on second thought. I do these things pretty much by instinct, and I have learned to trust that instinct. It took me a long time to feel sure of what I was doing. Now I know that when something appeals to me, I don't have to think about it; I just go right to it and do it"

We shall never doubt the irresistible power of intuition. To recognise it and live by it is a sign of wisdom, to condemn it and reject it is an act of dehumanisation. Johansson's work has this freshness of the newcomer and the sensibility of photographing something vibrant. She captures beauty and tells stories of what the East-end is in relation to her own new experience. She proves to be very mature in the understanding of the medium as much as her methodology despite confessing she struggles putting words into her actions. I am delighted to introduce her to our collective and to make her work accessible to our followers.

Tuesday 4 December 2012


Hackney Museum has just released a book of the Mapping the Change project that records the changes in East London towards the 2012 Games. Inside you will find quite a few images from Arnau Oriol Sanchez for being commissioned by the borough. The cover photograph is also his. This book costs £4.50 and is primarily available from the Museum.

Monday 26 November 2012


Today I feel very privileged to announce Mike Seaborne as one of our collaborative photographers. His recent exhibition London: Landscapes in Transition at the Host gallery was a little gem. The Thames Estuary series used the whole ground and the London Facades were shown downstairs. I didn't know Mike's work until I received a newsletter from Foto8. I was very surprised to experience such great quality prints where the finish, framing and sizes have been thought carefully to transmit the right effect and message. Mike's landscapes take us to those grey areas of the urban that I personally cherish. Places of non-apparent function or derelict that reveal a raw left over merging with the flow of the natural process and create consequently something unique and industrially bucolic. The Thames Estuary pictures simply revealed an harmony through the layers of time just outside the megalopolis. Difficult to access and mostly ignored they take suddenly a new dimension as they reflect our disdain for the non-profiting and non-entertaining. In fact thanks to Seaborne's eye we rediscover the nearby and start thinking further.

Mike Seaborne's body of work around the End End is rich and vast. The images selected for our collective project come from the London Docklands series shot in the 80's. I strongly recommend you pay a visit to his website. This post will focus on people and their involvement in the community and dates from between 1982 and 1984.
What struck me first is the dedication with which Mike documented the area. Similar understanding with Peter Marshall in documenting a different aspect of London full of significance and stories. Looking at them now we can question why those pictures didn't become more widespread. They tell much more about the real London in its beautiful raw complexity and constant experimental process. What Seaborne captures in those black and white images is the end of an era of heavy industries where the sticky past struggles and holds its last days. A doubt is found in the characters' gazes who question the future. Not sadden nor bitter those people are now living a life that doesn't suit or reflect the environment anymore. Those images are vacant but full of life and emotional conflicts. Something will change eventually but when will it start and what will it mean to them? You can also find this duality in the way Seaborne photographed with his 35mm camera. The compositions are beautifully balanced, almost too composed, but he introduces an extra layer which is psychological. His images suddenly take a new direction, more human and more ambitious. As if the technicality of the medium is slowly being put aside to concentrate on the sensitivity and the ineffable. The subjects gain more space and control over the compositions. His visual language adapts and joggles between capturing body language and mind interpretations of the critical moment.

Seaborne's photographs become more vivid and active. He finds a way to capture the time duality of the void left behind and the modern aspirations that are taking shape. The transitional state helps consequently in emphasizing the human dimension and reveals it as being at the heart of his concerns. It proves that a landscape doesn't exist without the human perspective. Seaborne nurtured that land long before it becomes an Olympic icon and shows that the East End is a area of real human dimension without facade. Somehow the East End carries that truth that the City belongs to the people first and that they are the agents of change, and not necessarily the way the outsiders would understand it. This very same question is being addressed today after our Olympic Summer.

Once again we find in those pictures a genuine charm where we can all recognize our doubts, absences and private joys. The East End was, and still is I hope, that source of inspiration, humility and respect. Seaborne's images manage to show us a glimpse of the long past turned obsolete and its merging into the unknown where the people suddenly have more to reveal than they working identity. Seaborne, like all the photographers of the collective, had the audacity and talent to collect those moments that very few would have found interesting back in the 80's. To be a great photographer you don't need to travel the world and feed the news. To be a great photographer you need to be visionary and care for your subject. Mike Seaborne is a great example to follow.

Monday 5 November 2012


I first saw Williams' work in the Art of Dissent book (bottom image). Only one image was published and I wanted to know more about the artist, I was quite intrigued by it. I knew that very awkward corridor outside the Olympic village she photographed. It would take someone special to capture that oddity. That small piece of land showed the past, the rejected. This portion represented like the ultimate and highly concentrated amount of energy that was about to be obliterated by the new landscape. I took few shots myself of this vanishing entity but Henrietta managed to capture it in blossom. That open but inverted non-space was the perfect symbol of what the rejuvenation intended to make disappear, the commonly called wasteland. Henrietta reveals its hidden beauty where the anarchy and the organic make suddenly more sense than the modern background arising. That one shot stayed in the back of my mind and I wanted to see more. Eventually we met and I then discovered a broader spectrum that convinced me that Henrietta was someone really talented and dedicated.

It appears then that her work is, again, as most of us in this collective, very rich, versatile and local. That last point is highly relevant as it makes us as much artists as responsible citizens by being involved in our communities. This is the desire to transmit a true information to a wider audience often put aside from the mass medias. Williams' work deals as much with the landscape as with its inhabitants. She not only frames the views independently but also includes its protagonist in a reflective mood. As when she concentrates on the land only she succeeds in capturing an almost human quality to it that I have rarely experienced. As if visages unconsciously emerge from the surface of the concrete. The emotion produced by the colours are quite warm and welcoming. Her  landscapes in re-invention do not intend to collide with the politics by straight opposition but they emphasize on the true inner beauty and peculiar identity associated with the East transformed. Like an archeologist she digs and presents an emotional state of the land that is a result of the various communities throughout its original past.

As when she portrays locals, despite presenting them in a classic fashion, they all show a personal dignity and reflection on the landscape. They question their own background, the actuality of the situation they are in in order to manage their near move. That is this dialogue between land and people that makes Williams' work so powerful and intelligent. The complexity and inter-relation of those two parts are the best described in her profound and caring investigations.

Henrietta Williams is a photographer and writer based in London. Her work has been widely exhibited and published in the UK and been featured in the Guardian, the Evening Standard, Open Democracy, on the BBC and in the architectural press. Her work about security in the UK led her to a project documenting evictions and exclusions in East London in preparation for the Olympic Games.
Henrietta is continuing this work and is now working closely with the Carpenter's Against Regeneration Plan, a group of residents who are contesting the demolition of the Carpenter's Estate in Stratford, East London. 

You can see more of her works by clicking on her link above.

Wednesday 24 October 2012


photomonth east london
International photography festival

12noon – 3pm
Pascal Ancel Bartholdi, Tim Bowditch, Philippe Calia, Oliver David, Raphael Franco, Begona Garcia, Sonal Kantaria, Monika Kita & Nigel Jarvis, Victoria Kovalenko, Monika Marion, Wendy Pye, Dougie Wallace, Joan Alexander, Suelan Allison, Gregoire Bernardi, Elizabeth Blanchet, Hana Ros, Imogen Ogilvie & Peter Larkin, Marc Schlossman, Max Colson, Amit Lennon, Elina Moriya, Helen Spackman & Manuel Vason.Rod Morris,

4pm – 6pm
2012 pics project, Souvid Datta, Fugitive Images, Paul Halliday, David Hoffman, Scotia Luhrs, Peter Marshall, Phil Maxwell, Colin O'Brien, Andres Pantoja, Natasha Quarmby, Max Reeves, Mike Seaborne, Daniel Stier, Ed Thompson, Paul Trevor, Dougie Wallace, Freddie Fei Wang, Mandy Williams.

Sunday 4 November 2012

Rich Mix
34-47 Bethnal Green Road, Shoreditch E1 6LA
Shoreditch High Street Stn, Liverpool Street tube.

Admission Free

The Rich Mix Bar and Café are open all day.

Saturday 20 October 2012


Uncertain States issue 12 is fresh, free and available now. The latest edition is as good as ever and the group is showing a selection of last year's contributors at Espacio Gallery 159 Bethnal Green Road until next week. Amazing space and experience guaranteed. Also, I have been invited to write about our 2012pics platform on page 3. Short notice but words came easy and so did the team who managed to execute the production in a blink of an eye. I am very grateful to the Uncertain States collective to have given me the opportunity to explain and present what our platform is to a wider audience, and on a different format, especially as the release coincides perfectly with the East London Photomonth Festival.

Saturday 29 September 2012


This last week-end of September 2012 marks the departure of our first official collective show from the Hoxton hotel in Shoreditch. I am very proud that this project has been selected amongst other very serious contenders. Besides the venue decided to extend the show for an extra three weeks. The response from the artists has been amazing and the experience with the staff truly exceptional. We are now working on new possibilities by considering new angles from the large archives we have produced. Many thanks to everyone for your support and visits.


You will find an enriching interview from Chris Dorley-Brown with The Great Leap Sideways online magazine. Chris talks about his 30 years career so far, the East End and life.


                                                   Olympic Car Park 2011
                                                   ©Chris Dorley-Brown                                                   

Wednesday 5 September 2012


Interesting issue 22 of the London Independent Photography magazine (FLIP) especially dedicated to the 2012 Games and the notion of game (as practice and leisure)
8 pages cover the work of Homer Sykes about one of his latest work titled Before the Blue Wall
Also a double page with Chris Dorley-Brown Roach Road which is being shown at the Hox gallery.
Finally there is a review of the Art of Dissent book with the usual suspects mentioned in earlier post.
I found my copy from the Photographers Gallery and it costs £4.

Wednesday 22 August 2012


Come along and join us next Thursday evening for the opening of our first collective show at the Hox gallery from 6.30pm.

Saturday 18 August 2012


You will find an article commenting on the Salon des refuses' selection for the Art of Dissent book project (recent post - scroll down) held last Autumn at the Container Cafe by the Olympic stadium. Alessandra Chila, Chris Dorley-Brown, David George and Peter Marshall works are being summarily described by author Ben Campkin. Adjacent is a full page with George's Dissolution series with statement. Uncertain States paper is truly a magnificent project for alternative photography which I  recommend strongly. This issue is Phototheraphy orientated. I got my copy from the Flowers Gallery on Kingsland Rd, Hoxton and it's free. Enjoy.

Friday 10 August 2012


You will find two articles in one of the latest London Evening Standard from the 8th August 2012 that really encapsulate the power of the medias and of the politics. Pages 20/21 tell the story, "as an exclusive", of the evictions happening in the closest areas of the Olympic sites. They logically take the case of the Carpenters Estate, the closest to the main venues as a generic view point, where some flats have been rented out for the BBC strategic view point. Needless to say that those sad cases are the tip of the iceberg. Those evictions have been going on from the day London won the bid in various forms and will continue in the future as our second article shows on 4/5 of the Property section of the same edition. You can find all the elements in those four pages to make your own opinions on how things are run, from the history, the statements, the acts and even the adverts!

Ethical documentary photography has this ability to capture events in the process and ask some important questions before the medias claim their insight. Our platform and many other artists have been following the process since 2005 and attempted to give a voice to the local communities as much as a global understanding in the most creative and sensitive ways. What we witnessed and what we envisaged takes sadly shape in its most common form. We are not surprised to read such plain articles but experiencing its progress on the largest scale is always difficult to swallow.

Friday 3 August 2012


If you have a chance to be in Hackney Wick area you will be able to grab the second edition of the local free paper The Wick where you will find a lot of info about what is happening in the Fish Island. There are many articles about Photography in relation to the Games. There is also a page about the Art of Dissent show where David George, Chris Dorley-Brown and Alessandra Chila's images are available. Very interesting special edition with a 24 pages supplement about the local residents.

Monday 30 July 2012


Our first official collective show is finally taking place all the way throughout the Olympics and Paralympics at the Hox gallery in Shoreditch. This first presentation focuses on the transformation of the urban landscape in the Lea Valley area. We managed to put this exhibition in two weeks and I am very proud of the response from each artist photographer involved. The host venue has also been one of the best experience I have ever had. An opening date is still to be confirmed. This show is open to all public at any time and is free. Located in the heart of Shoreditch it is very accessible by all type of public transports. Nearest tubes are Old Steet, Liverpool street and Shoreditch High Street.

Photograph copyright Arnau Oriol Sanchez

Sunday 15 July 2012


We are proud to see three of our photographers being invited to show their works in this heavyweight publication. Chris Dorley-Brown, Alessandra Chila and David George have been selected to present their personal visions of the East-End as we approach the Olympic Games. Marshgate Press has not only gathered visual talents but also very high profile writers and analysts. You can find all the info following this link

This project is also a show.

Art of Dissent at See Studio 5th July – 1st September

See Studio presents The Art of Dissent, a group show displaying work created in response to the London Olympics and the radical transformation of the Lower Lee Valley brought about by it (all contributors to the book ‘The Art of Dissent: Adventures in London’s Olympic State.) The works included in the exhibition actively resist the Games’ consensual symbols and images; they activate the history of Hackney Wick and the marshes against the politics of effacement, and critically explore the imprint of London’s Olympic State.
Jessie Brennan, Alessandra Chilá, Chris Dorley-Brown, Fantich & Young, David George, Giles Price, Jim Woodall, Gesche Würfel.
Associated events at See Studio include artists talks and films 6-9pm 2nd August as part of TimeOut First Thursdays.
See Studio is an Exhibition Space in Hackney Wick, London adjacent to the Olympic Park that commissions and works with artists, designers, photographers, and film-makers to produce creative commercial solutions as well as innovative new artwork for exhibition and publishing purposes.
13 Prince Edward Rd, London, E9 5LX
0208 986 6477

Wednesday 11 July 2012


The collective is now looking for artist photographers with strong body of works around the theme of the London East End in relation to the 2012 Olympic Games phenomenon. The two angles required described below will enhance the quality of the works already gathered.

1/ We are looking for projects taking place during the Olympics and Paralympics within the site or on its peripheries.

2/ We are also very interested in presenting longer projects that would take place after the Games.

Each photographer will be asked to present a short presentation with informal statement and visuals either completed or in progress. David will be available for discussion and advice if necessary.

Please email your submissions to
There is no deadline and no fee.
The collective is a non-profit platform for artists using Photography who are questioning the medium and the urban/human landscape. We will also consider video works as an extension of the photographic stillness.

Wednesday 23 May 2012


Arnau Oriol Sanchez, Chris Dorley-Brown and David Boulogne's works are part of this long temporary Summer exhibition at the Hackney Museum. This show is mostly History and Communities orientated. A certain emphasis have been put on Arnau who is commissioned by the Museum to capture the change of the borough in specific areas. This exhibition is versatile and can be read like a book. There are two photographic areas. One presents a slide show of various artists. The second one is a montage of medium size prints over three walls, those pictures are all portraits of local residents.

cover photograph Arnau Oriol Sanchez

Friday 11 May 2012


Arteries of a new East is the definite title for this series I started in December 2009. I will display this body of work I ended photographing in December 2011 in two presentation formats depending on the specifications.

My first choice resulting from my numerous walks come as a selection of montages of six images with title at the bottom. Each walk selected would be mounted on a traditional dark wooden frame. The images would adopt the similar pattern of 6 (2 columns of 3) vertically and should be reinforced by a traditional thin mount on which the title should be engraved at the bottom. The idea is to mix the high digital quality of the prints (from film) with a classical method of showing ancient documents. I find that mix the perfect way to engage with the subject I have been dealing with in its form and content. Each frame are 40x50cm and they are not limited in numbers. 
This presentation is already available at the Hackney Museum as part of their archives and recent shows related to the Mapping the Change project.

My second choice comes as a collection of individual images. Each of them would be displayed in a 20x30cm light white frame. Ideally showing a lot of them together would make more sense as they would produce a journey by their singularities and dispersion at the same time. Here again there is no limited numbers.

Meanwhile I have been working on essays and I am trying to coordinate very specific and alternative events around the project. Shows, essays, press articles, installations and happenings are in the pipeline. If you have any interest in collaborating with us please contact me. My time on this transitional journey of the East part of London as a photographer is now over. I may try to work on other aspects of the area or the Olympic event itself but nothing certain at this stage. Below an extract of my essay.


"The East London I am unveiling through my walks is not a final statement but it depicts that transitional state. It questions deep social awareness and political agendas. Not initially conceived as an ideal place for the people, the East has found throughout History its peculiar identity. It is a hybrid combination originating from its own people that forged a sense of belonging. Its new proximity to the centre will deeply change the unique and alternative social context by appropriation through mass investments in a vast and lucrative opportunity.
The photo-montages expose an effervescent burying of the old urban landscape by a new mainstream one. Thanks to uninspired governing bodies a creative stimulus arise from the local resident to map its identity despite its apparent disappearance. The uniqueness of the zone will be remembered because of the values it inspired. The landscape will vanish but its memory will last. Those arteries are still fuelled with passion and not profit. They are vital to a healthy democracy. The East once relegated is now melting into an unavoidable conformism. Local residents still have a voice but that will only last the time they can afford to live it."

Friday 6 April 2012


1/ First of all, what were or are you motivations for capturing Hackney? 
Was you decision initially guided by the bid won in 2005 or was it irrelevant?

The bid was irrelevant. When I came to live in London I came to Hackney and I have been living in the borough for the last three years. I have recently moved to South Tottenham because my landlord sold the house. I wanted to continue living in Hackney but it has been so hard to find a decent place with a reasonable price. So I moved a bit further North to Tottenham, and I imagine Tottenham today is like Hackney 20 years ago. Rough, with poverty, unemployment and non fashionable.
My main motivations where the fact that I was living in Hackney, and that everybody was talking about the change, about how it used to be, how the Olympics weren’t bringing positive things, the gentrification and so on. I started photographing the borough. Then, by chance, I came across the Hackney Museum. I had been shooting a project about the Ghanaian community in Hackney and I thought the Museum might be interested in it somehow. I visited them, they liked it, and then they told me they were looking for a photographer to document the change of Hackney Wick. They were basically looking for images that showed the change, but there wasn’t a specific brief. The main output for the images would be initially the archives, and I felt quite enthusiastic about that. I was living in Hackney, and to be a photographer and have work in the Hackney archives made me feel a certain pride. Also, to be able to merge a commission with a more personal approach to a subject made me feel quite happy and privileged.

2/Why did you decide to use the old square format and slide films with today's digital technology?

It was because of my choice on the approach. I could have taken a much more classic photojournalistic approach with this project, with a more political and social hue, looking at those particular communities affected. But I started photographing too late, the fencing of the perimeter was already erected, the demolitions had been done. The initial output of the pictures were the archives, so I thought that a straight portrait of the changing landscape would work. I thought a 120 film camera would help to take a more reflective approach. I also like to shoot on film as I get later more excited about seeing the results, and also leaves me some time to keep on shooting without having seen yet any result. With digital I tend to look and roughly edit pictures the same day I shoot, that means next day I am shooting I am conditioned (for good or bad) by the results.
Slides? I just love the texture and color. And somehow, it brings me back to the older Hackney I would have liked photographing. 



3/You are still being commissioned I believe by Hackney Museum to capture the daily of the borough prior to the Olympic event. Can you tell us more about this unique and engaging patronage? Are they considering to extend the project after the Games?

On that particular project they are not funding me anymore. They did during 6 months, and then I continued the project on my spare time. However, the council commissioned me another project about the cultural diversity in Kingsland Road. I still do regular work with the Museum but unfortunately is more about documenting the ‘Mapping the Change’ project rather than being part of it. I am not sure about what are their plans after the Olympics, but I will probably keep on shooting as long as I live in London.

4/In the similar vein to Alessandra Chila you have been particularly drawn to details but you also managed to create a body of work that encapsulates both landscapes and people. Can you tell us more about that hybrid documentary style?

The Hackney Wick area is bizarre: there is the wilderness of the Hackney Marshes, people who lives in barges and in tents, abandoned warehouses reconverted in artists studios, dog walkers, binocular bird watchers, electrified fences, blue wooden walls surrounding new developments and covered by announcements of computer generated future, men with yellow fluorescent vests patrolling. Many of these things can only be found on a changing area. I was looking to capture/document landscapes that will disappear but also people that live, work or walk around the area. 

5/ How would you rate or describe the photographic investigation you produced as a non-British born citizen. Did you find it difficult sometimes to engage or relate to the issues experienced by such an event?

Hackney has a strong sense of community. If you live there, you feel being part of it. The Museum helped to make me engaged. I took many portraits for the Museum on a project called Hackney Voices, lead by Rebecca and Tony from Sweet Patootee. It is a project recording the memories of people who have been living in the borough for a long time. I got to know these people and with some of them had long conversations over a cup of tea while I was visiting them in their houses to take their portrait. I heard stories about the old days. The research I did also helped me to get fascinated by the area.
I came across the work of writer Iain Sinclair, and his chronicles of Hackney. I got fascinated: an illegal goods market inside an abandoned dog’s racing stadium, with a mix of local people and rejected asylum seekers trying to sell goods; a strange mix of evangelical churches, raves and bus garages. An underground world I never had the chance to know. That was key to develop my photographic investigation.
I discovered photographers such Stephen Gill, Berris Connolly and Chris Dorley Brown. Stephen’s work made in Hackney Wick in the early 2000’s was a great inspiration for me, because it threw me straight away to how the area used to be before it became the designated Olympic Site, without any embellishment. But for me Chris and Berris’ work was much more appealing. It showed me a Hackney before all the gentrification process, the Hackney of the 80’s and 90’s. And looking at those images fascinated me. I always get fascinated by the images of the near past of a place I know, because is a past where I was already alive. That probably impregnated me with a sense of loss, and for a search of authenticity. That could explain the romanticism in some of the images.
Over all, it have been a very enriching experience so far, and it is not finished as I am still shooting, and probably will be shooting after the Olympics.