London Photography Festival 2012

The London Photography Festival (LPF) opened this week (1st of June) with multiple exhibitions across the Kings Cross area of London. I was luckily invited to the pre-launch day and launch party. I did not get to see all the shows as they are not all open yet but what I did see was really interesting. I have written a little about some of the shows below. It’s not intended to be a must see list of exhibitions from the festival as I would definitely recommend taking a day checking out all the work as most of the venues are walking distance from each other. The festival runs from June 1st – June 30th. All the info on the exhibitions, talks and workshops can be found on the LPF website.

images by Arnhel De Serra, Ewen Spencer and Steve Bloom

Images above by Arnhel De Serra, Ewen Spencer and Steve Bloom.

Great British Public – Group Show

The Great British Public exhibition showcases life in Britain in its various guises from street life in Hackney to Country Shows. Artists exhibiting range from relatively unknown photographers to the likes of Martin Parr who has some of the prints from his Black Country Stories project which was shot in and around West Bromwich in 2011. Arnhel De Serra‘s images documenting country shows really stood out, his images are amazing observations that are tipped off with humour.

Arnhel da Serra form the series "shows"

It was really nice to see work for two ex MiniClick speakers at the show: Ben Roberts and Ewen Spencer. Ewen Spencer has a small selection of prints from his project “Open Mic“, a body of work documenting the Grime scene in yearly early 2000s.

from Open Mic by Ewen Spencer

Zed Nelson work “A Tale of Two Cities” really stood out, it documents the social divisions of the London borough of Hackney which is the poorest borough in London but yet at the same time a desirable place to live for young professionals.

Zed Nelson: A Tale of Two Cities display at the London Photography Festival

Beneath The Surface – Steve Bloom

Beneath the surface is a collection of photographs shot in 1970s South Africa during apartheid. There are some really powerful large format portraits in the show along with candid images. One of my favourites is a bizarre image of an Idi Amin look-alike complete with attractive female bodyguards. This show is pretty special as some of the images have never been exhibited before and ones that have been exhibited have not been shown for 30 years.

Beneath The Surface - Steve Bloom

Burn My Eye Collective – Group show

This is one of the shows that was not open on the preview day. Although I did not get to check it I can tell it’s going to be good as I met some the members of Burn My Eye Collective at the launch party of the LPF. It turns out that I knew of some of their work before I even met them. One such photographer is Charlie Kirk whose Japanese street photography is exquisite and shows a real fearless approach to shooting. The Burn My Eye Collective are an international group of photographers who have come together for the first time in the real world for the exhibition, you can find more on the LPF website here.

The Gaddafi Archives

Finally, the Gaddafi Archives does not start until the 21st June but is one exhibition which I am definitely going back to London to check out. It’s a collection of photographs of photographs taken at sites in Libya during the Arab Spring that give an insight to what went on with the ruling classes of Libya from 1954 until the Arab Spring.

The details

The london Photography Festival runs from the June 1st – June 30th, events are all over the capital. Check out their website for all the exhibitions and events.

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