Yesterday afternoon, the Grenfell memorial service was a humbling and moving experience which was followed by an estimated 18000 people participating in a dignified silent walk. People were there to pay respects but were understandably asking questions about how five years can pass with so little meaningful change. These are some of the photographs.
The government’s handling of both Grenfell and the subsequent cladding scandal, leaves a clear political opportunity for the opposition parties and it was good to see local MP’s as well as Lisa Nandy, Shadow Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, talking with local leaders and joining the walk. With the completion of the Grenfell Inquiry still some time away, the opposition parties must continue to put pressure to deliver truly just outcomes for the Grenfell community, as well as for people living in housing across the country that is now beset by ongoing fire safety issues.
Over the last weeks, I’ve photographed with people who are living through cladding remediation works. The individuals and families that have taken part were in scaffolded buildings, unable to see outside for many months and with reduced light-levels inside their homes. Though moving forward with making the building safe, the living conditions intensify existing feelings of being trapped by the cladding scandal. Windows are either blocked or kept shut to keep out the noise and intrusion. The photographs represent that situation of being at home, but within a building site, and should provoke important questions about living through remediation.
I am looking to continue doing this so if your cladding situation is similar, then please do get in touch.
These photographs are from the End Our Cladding Scandal rally outside Parliament yesterday. It was scheduled to coincide with the return of the Building Safety Bill to the Commons and the debate on the Lords’ amendments. The rally saw excellent speeches from politicians and campaigners with some really good coverage from the media. The government however voted down the amendments in the Commons and so the Building Safety Bill now goes back to the Lords for further scrutiny. The Bill surely needs much more clarity and protection for leaseholders as, after all, it is only they who had no role in creating this Building Safety Crisis.
All of my cladding photographs are always available for use by the End Our Cladding Scandal team who do incredible work to raise the issues affecting leaseholders.
This is one image from trips made over the winter months to photograph at the Pudding Mill Allotments. I’ve written previously that these allotments are under threat because of plans for a development of tall buildings close to the boundary that will over shadow 66% of the plots. With few plants growing at winter time, I wanted to explore light and shadow as a visual metaphor for the situation and this photograph of a cardoon head came out of that idea.
As spring turns to summer, I’ll be returning to see if photographs can be made that are more celebratory of the allotments as a place of growing and of community.
Digital Photography in the City is a new course that I am teaching this year at the Mary Ward Centre.
Over ten weeks, the Digital Photography in the City course will teach how creative ideas take shape from location to photograph, covering both technical skills and also the understanding of how to use those skills in different situations. It includes urban landscape and architecture, street and street portraiture, nature in context and close up and creative still-life photographs from found objects. This course is blended, so out on location and then online for image reviews and feedback, and will encourage learners to explore the city as well as improve their photography.