The February show in the 2013 Photographic Residency Project, SHORT STORIES FROM AN AUTONOMOUS SPACE, curated by David Boulogne of 2012PICS and featuring contributors to that site is a set of ten black and white photographs with short texts featuring images from my ‘Before the Olympics’ project and book based on my Lea Valley web site.
The 10 pictures went up on the wall at Workshop Coffee Marylebone (75 Wigmore Street London W1U 1QD) and will be there for the rest of the month. I’m told the coffee there is the best in West London, and I’m sure unlike those shops selling second-rate coffee they pay their taxes.
David describes Short stories from an autonomous space as
“a unique partnership presenting monthly a rare photographic survey produced by artist photographers gathered under the 2012pics project. The mission of the collective is to create archives related to the change of the urban landscape in the East-End with the 2012 Olympic Games.
It is also a platform for contemporary documentary photography that reveals individual initiatives undertook in the last 30 years in a progressive fashion.”
In my statement about the work I wrote:
Before the Olympics
In 1981 I began a long-term photographic project in the Lea Valley from the source of the river to the Thames at Limehouse and Bow Creek, concentrating on the urban changes which were taking place and have continued. As a part of this project I photographed the busy industrial area of Stratford Marsh and around the Bow Back Rivers, returning in the 1990s and the early 2000s and again after the Olympic bid was announced and then won, recording as far as I could it’s transformation from a productive area to the urban wasteland with scattered monumental structures it is today. I hope to continue the project to record the legacy of the Olympics when the area will be hopefully be returned from behind its high security fences to more productive use as a part of a wider project on urban development in East London. A selection of work from this project was published as Before the Olympics: The Lea Valley 1981-2010; second edition 2011: ISBN 978-1-909363-00-7.
The shows through the year will all use the same set of frames, with an image size of 23cms square, and all of my images were made on 35mm film with an aspect ratio of 1.5:1, leaving plenty of space for texts to accompany them. These tell something of the history of the area which counters the deliberately misleading statements about the area put out by the Olympic developers.
Of course the Olympics has come and very much left its giant footprint on the area, changing it almost beyond recognition. I hope something to benefit East London can be salvaged from its legacy and also that I will be able to continue to record the area as it is, at least in part, reopened to the public. You can see some of my latest pictures from the area in Olympic Area Slightly Open from a visit in December 2012.
All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated are by Peter Marshall and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.