Hackney Street Photographs 1978-2008
This exhibition by Alan Denney is a fascinating collection of Hackney people and their places from the last three decades. The body of work was found by Angela Stapleford (who exhibited at Chats Palace last winter). Denney has lived and worked in Hackney all his adult life, and his interest in photography goes back to his family’s collection of photographs he was shown in his childhood.
He says, “Those old photographs showed me how the pleasure of looking could lead you on to an understanding of how individuals participated in history and how some of them could become its victims.”
His relationship with photography developed as he discovered some of the 1960s classic documentary image makers. In particular, Henri Cartier-Bresson was a great inspiration. Denney says, “I liked his photographs of people: unaware of the camera, just getting on uninterruptedly with their lives.” His work from the 70s and 80s reflects the harsh political and economic struggles of those times which had a big impact on inner London boroughs like Hackney. Commenting on more recent changes in the borough, Denney says, “It’s a sort of progress I suppose but, beyond the pockets of gentrification, Hackney still has high levels of deprivation…In the face of all these problems and hardships people still carve out a life for themselves and I still think it’s worthwhile to record them doing it.” The exhibition, organised by Photochats, is a contribution to the annual East London Photomonth Festival.
1st October to 22nd November