Foto8 is pleased to announce an exhibition of photography by Mike Seaborne, comprising two of his long-term projects, Thames Estuary and Facades.
East of the City of London, the Thames was traditionally both the industrial backbone and backyard of London. The gradual loss of docks and heavy industry in favour of business and residential development has drastically transformed parts of east London. Seaborne’s Thames Estuary series explores the effects of neglect, dereliction and development on that large swathe of London which comprises the estuary and its hinterland. It shows us places we had never noticed and raises questions about the relationship between the city’s river and the people and wildlife that coexist along its edges.
Seaborne began the Facades series in 2004, photographing what he refers to as the ‘zone of transition’ in inner city London where the urban fabric reflects the constantly shifting population. In these images he has focused on the south and east of the city where run-down residential, commercial and industrial buildings, often built during the Victorian period or earlier, were relatively cheap to rent or to buy and therefore attractive to economic migrants and new businesses. These are the buildings that Seaborne concentrates on, the derelict and undeveloped that are ‘For Sale’ or ‘To Let’, awaiting change. These areas are now subject to the economic forces of regeneration and the buildings await their fate from either redevelopment or gentrification.
Mike Seaborne began photographing London in 1979 when he was appointed Curator of Photographs at the Museum of London. Since then he has explored much of the capital and has completed many projects for the museum and independently. In 1986 he began a long-term landscape project recording deindustrialisation, changing patterns of land use and new city infrastructures. He has concentrated on using medium and large-format cameras to reveal the minutiae of his subjects and, while embracing digital technology, his finished work retains obvious links with that of earlier practitioners whose aim was to assemble visual collections of aspects of the city that might soon be lost or have simply been overlooked or forgotten.
For further information and images contact yasmin [at] foto8.com, 020 7253 8801