The peculiar materiality of the Fish Island Riviera fulfils all my criteria as an interesting temporary space. Palm trees, sand and sun combine in a scene of suspended expectation yet ready to transform for corporate events and entertainment in Hackney Wick. Beach volleyball on the banks of the River Lea was so 2012 but don’t bet against this temporary space being continually re-invented in 2013, 2014 and beyond. My favourite photographic opportunity for a long while, thanks to the friendly people at Forman’s.
Today I spent the afternoon in the Olympic Park for the first time since the end of the 2012 Games. Joining about 250 others, this was a visit to celebrate the life of John Hopkins, the landscape architect responsible for the Park, who unexpectedly passed away earlier in the year. John was the author of the book I contributed to and was passionate in designing a Park that would be a sustainable landscape once the needs of the Games were past. The legacy changes are now quite tangible with the venues receding into bold, sweeping, green spaces and 2012′s fleeting, though enjoyable, London Olympics seems very last year. These photographs anticipate the opening, at the end of July, of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park; here’s to John and a wonderful, sustainable public park.
Posted in London 2012, Olympic Park, Photography
Tagged architecture, John Hopkins, landscape, London 2012, Olympic Park, photography, regeneration, River Lea, Sigma DP2X, visual urbanism
Not so much a post as a signpost to the new Projects tab on the header bar. I’ve been developing project based photography over the last year and finally have something to show – there are another two more projects on the way. These are all longitudinal studies and the conceptualising, photographing and then editing of such a personal project is quite different from simply going out with the camera and making a few images. It takes a lot more dedication and organisation and, more critically, an ability to know when the project is complete. The first to make it thus far is called Temporary and the image below links straight to it.
Posted in London 2012, Olympic Park, Photography
Tagged architecture, London 2012, Olympic Park, photography, Sigma DP1X, Sigma DP2X, Stratford, temporality, Temporary, urban culture, visual urbanism
I’ve been at an event all this week called Uncanny Landscapes with contributions by some really interesting artists and academics. Though originally sketched out by Freud, the event organisers write that the uncanny, ‘represents that which upsets, disrupts or disturbs our engagement with the world around us’. The London smogs of the early twentieth century were thought to have invoked the uncanny given the sensory deprivation and yet heightened sense of porosity between self and environment. I searched my photography archive for something more contemporary and found this image made in 2011 of the River Lea as it runs up between Hackney Marsh and Eton Manor. Bearing in mind this is adjacent to the London 2012 Olympic Park you might be surprised by the loss of any sense of urban atmosphere as well as the disappearing sense of perspective in the mist. I’m not sure the photograph truly invokes a feeling of the uncanny but, that said, the selective framing has created a mood slightly different from that which I remember at the time, while standing with my back to the busy A12! Certainly this week has given me some inspiration and ideas for the future.
Posted in Photography
Tagged Eton Manor, fog, Hackney Marsh, Hackney Wick, London, River Lea, Sigma DP2X, Uncanny, Uncanny Landscapes, urban culture, visual urbanism
I have joined a six month collaborative photography project to document Swanscombe Marsh, a post-industrial peninsular along the Thames Estuary which was once a centre for the cement industry. As with many idle, urban landscapes there is a desire to force it back into work and, last October, plans were passed to turn Swanscombe Marsh into a mega theme park twice as big as the London 2012 Olympic Park. The similarities to the Olympic site don’t stop there as the Marsh is straddled by electricity pylons and those that carry power across the Thames stand at a spectacular height of 190 metres, the tallest in the UK. As I walked the Marsh it was clear that through benign neglect there has been a quiet return of nature and I’m curious to see how the landscape changes with the seasons. Being a group project there is a generosity of view and many who are taking part value this landscape for its urban wilderness and layered history. For now, the sense of fading memory it preserves remains just within reach.
Posted in Photography, Swanscombe Marsh
Tagged London, photographic record, pylons, regeneration, Sigma DP2X, street photography, Swanscombe Marsh, Thames, Thames Crossing, Thames Estuary, Thames Gateway, visual urbanism