Shoreditch Portraiture Project (Part 1)

shoreditch - Shoreditch Portraiture Project (Part 1)

This is the first part of a series documenting a streets portraiture project which led to a book and an exhibition at the now-closed Spitz Gallery near Liverpool Street.
Genco, Mictchell & Evans in Brick Lane
Tony, Gerald & Nicola in Brick Lane
The Streets Portraiture – or ‘Shoreditch Project’ – was begun by Tony, Gerald & Nicola, who were studying for a BA in Photography. Starting in 2001, each Sunday the team made their way to Brick Lane. Located here are the popular markets of Brick Lane, Spitalfields (now largely destroyed by modern development) and Columbia Road flower market.
The focus of this work was to take photographs of local people – although some ‘locals’ turned out to live far away! Former boxers, bakers, shoemakers were captured for prosperity. Photographs from the project were used for ‘Picturing the Social Landscape’ by Les Back, Professor of Anthropology, Goldsmiths College.
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I joined the photography trio roughly mid-way through the project. On this day I met most of the more noted characters who’d been photographed to date. What initially began as a one-off visit turned into a personal project too for me as I began to record the project itself!
Tony with Nobby the boxer man
Tony with Nobby the boxer man
On the first day I met Nobby the boxer (man with hat and red shirt above.) Nobby’s portrait was one of the most important of the project – being used on the cover of ‘Picturing the Social Landscape.’
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On a different Sunday some flamboyant dressers were found and the couple holding the flowers (below) were photographed at the further end of Sclater Lane by the footbridge that ran across the rail lines leading out of Liverpool Street Station. Being a popular bric a brac area, it was a busy location because of people crossing the adjacent footbridge over the railway lines.
Couple by bric a brac stalls in Sclater Street, EC1
The location caused difficulties because of the time it takes to set up a 5×4 shoot. My shot shows Tony as he is about to fire the shutter – an appropriately quiet moment patiently waited for in order to gain the composure required for this shot.
Flamboyant couple near Trumans Brewery
Flamboyant couple near Trumans Brewery
Another flamboyant couple were discovered near Truman’s Brewery in Brick Lane. They made a great portraiture shot sat upon a scooter outside the local Vespa store.
Part Two

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