London’s East End in the last 5-10 years or so has been at the forefront of a wave of development. With the change driven by regeneration – mostly new high-rise housing and office buildings such as those at Aldgate Place and elsewhere, older buildings have come down or are/were gutted for modern refit. Local treasures and loveable-eyesores like the Fruit Exchange and White's Row car park respectively have come and gone in a relatively-short space of time. Contrast this wholesale demolish-and-replace approach with badly executed preservation attempts of the facade of the old Cock A Hoop pub on the corner of Artillery Lane and Gun Street, or whatever it is they're doing on Wentworth Street (let's not mention Gardiners Corner). Contrast all this again with what the successful regeneration of the one-way road system that cut between the Sir John Cass school and St. Botolph Without Aldgate...
Elsewhere, the East End is full of post-war and period architecture giving it a unique feel compared to other areas of the city, though much of it is in poor state of repair or dereliction, this part of town has a character much more to my liking than the sterile upstairs-downstairs-cum-medical-centre-or-design-agency-wankfest of the area surrounding the West End (looking at you Marylebone).
The East End stands as a contrast to itself and to the rest of London, and this current period of change has affected the urban landscape both in terms of aesthetic and in its social make up, and it’s this aesthetic that I have sought to document. The work is captured in analogue and uses digital techniques to combine and create composite works - this method and approach attempts to highlight the very contrast of the East End.
Although this piece was born of the first year of my degree, and only a select few images are shown, I intend to build upon this early work (which began 3 years ago now at time of writing) over time. The opportunities to document and subsequently to create these scenes are too numerous to pass up. I hope those who appreciate photography and those who understand history will appreciate the work for what it represents.