The occasion of the first London Street Photography Festival has acted as a bit of a catalyst to complete a couple of projects and I’ve also added a walk that arose out of workshop as part of the festival, which was coordinated by David Gibson and Jesse Marlow (also the winner of the International award at the festival). Both members of the street photographer’s collective iN-Public the workshop was a great opportunity to get a perspective on how they both see street photography. They offered a variety of ways that we can see street photography and the range of their own work – and that of a few other select photographers really gave the workshop participants a very broad understanding of street photography that was very liberating.
The project they gave us – the impossible letters, was a great way to direct our eyes. It was a reminder that once you start noticing something in your environment it often continues to appear to your eyes…
Adding the outcome from the workshop seemed an ideal time to add two new series, a new one from Dusseldorf, reflecting my experience of the Christmas market and an extended series on Highgate Wood – my local London park.
I’ve been visiting the Christmas market in Dusseldorf now for over 10 years. It has become part of my Christmas ritual to wander the altstadt to experience the idealised village world created in the heart of a Dusseldorf. But the real reason to go is to share in the communal experience of the Marktplatz where Dusseldorfers come together to close the year. The stalls selling socks, wooden toys, crystals and other gifts are just the backdrop and an excuse to gather in the public space.
Highgate Wood, my local park is part wildlife reserve, part Victorian park. A remnant of the ancient forest of Middlesex, to walk off its pathways is to imagine the vast forests that 500 years ago covered much of London, Hertfordshire and Essex. Today it’s an idealised little rural world just 6km from central London.