A Landscape In Motion

Image © Arnau Oriol Sanchez

If you are in Shoreditch – and who isn’t these days, when it’s become a very trendy area of London, you might like to visit this show on at the Hoxton Hotel in Great Eastern St. Curated by David Boulogne, A Landscape In Motion:  The East End and the Games features contributors to his 2012 pics blog started in 2010 and featuring images around the Olympic area.

For those of you who know Shoreditch, the Hoxton Hotel is on Great Eastern St, on the south side just a few doors down from the junction with Old St. On the corner used to be another great venue, the Foundry, but although the two sites are perhaps only 50 yards apart they are miles distant.

The exhibition space is on the ground floor – walk to the left of reception and turn right past the glass box of the eating area and the pictures are along both sides of a corridor leading off to the right. This is the first show in the space, and I hope there will be many more. Tons of buses stop nearby – I get a 453 or 55 to Great Eastern St, or its 5 minutes from Old St Tube. We will have some kind of event at the show probably towards the end of the month, and I’ll try to remember to post an invitation here as well as e-mailing contacts. But the show is open all hours until 9 Sept, though if you visit at dead of night you may have to ask at reception for the lights to be turned on!

As David says on his blog, we put this show together at the last minute, and my work in it is five of the pictures that I showed last year at the Shoreditch gallery a short walk away in ‘East of the City‘. Not all of the five pictures are on that web site as I altered the selection for that show after writing the site. Here are a couple of my images from it:

© 1982, Peter Marshall
Timber Yard, Stratford, 1982

© 1983, Peter Marshall
Lee Valley Cycle Circuit, 1983

Of course when I took these pictures I had no idea that this would be the Olympic site around 30 years later. But I was sure that the area was going to change. The timber industry, which had relied on the Surrey Docks across the river was fading fast, and other large factories in the area were closing down, being replaced by smaller industries. Acres and acres of railway land used for marshalling yards were now redundant, as were the engineering shops that had built so many locomotives. There were still cold stores and a Freightliner depot, but I was doubtful of their long-term future.

The future for the area came slower than I expected, and has turned out rather different. I suspect too that the games legacy will be very different to the ‘aspirations’ aired in the London 2012 bid document, a typical conspiracy of half-truths. I’ve kept recording the area at intervals over the years since I first went there in 1982, most recently a couple of weeks ago, when I photographed from the 20th floor of the tower block housing the BBC studios. The story about that deserves another post, but here is the site as it was a few days before the start of the Olympics.

170 degree view from 20th floor of Lund Point, 21/7/2012

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