Open-air exhibition: “Ridley Road Stories”

[Many thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this item to our attention.] “Ridley Road Stories,” an outdoor exhibition featuring multiple photographers and celebrating Dalston (London) locals, opened on November 6 and will remain on view until November 2021. [The Red Cross Building, 92 Dalston Lane, London.]

Description ( Ridley Road Stories is an ongoing accessible archive of the African and Caribbean communities on Ridley Road. The project and exterior exhibition has been produced with the community and young people and includes a range of visual art forms and digital and analogue skills. With youth and residents, we have engaged through street photography, photo and darkroom studios, documentary, film and digital cameras, interviews, photoshoots, editing, oral histories, narratives and personal stories. Our current exterior exhibition, shows a selection of the work as 10 large format prints, on show for one year.

Photographers @chasingthelight_67 @dontravis1 @whatchristophersaw @bruneljohnson @hal.2000.home

In “Some of the best outdoor art and photography to see now,” Andrew Dickson (BBC) writes:  Based in one of the city’s most diverse boroughs, they have recently installed a photography exhibition on one of Hackney’s busiest thoroughfares, next to a medical centre and around the corner from one of London’s most bustling markets. Entitled Ridley Road Stories, it’s a series of 10 large-format portraits celebrating Hackney’s Afro-Caribbean community. The images were shot only a few hundred metres away – street photography in every sense of the word.

“It’s great if you want to reach a wide audience,” yells Travis as a lorry honks past. “You see people in double-decker buses peering down, wondering what’s going on.”

As we walk towards Ridley Road itself, the pair explain their project’s community focus. It began a few years back, when Future Hackney – an artist-led collective – began to document the area, which just a decade ago was London’s most deprived borough, and the sixth most deprived local authority in the UK. As well as encouraging street photographers to make work in the market, for many years a locus for the black, Turkish, Afghan and many other communities, they also set up temporary photo studios and darkrooms, working with young photographers and video-makers. [. . .]

What do they feel the installation gains from its outdoor setting? “So, so much,” says Travis, gesturing to the market around us and pointing out that thousands of people will see the show who would never venture inside a conventional gallery (even assuming that it’s open). “You’re showing the community to itself. I find that idea really powerful.” [. . .]

For full articles, see

Also see related articles: Outdoor photography exhibition celebrates Dalston locals
Samantha Huiqi Yow, Hackney Gazette, November 20, 2020

‘I was amazed’: meet the London teens recording the vivid lives of their streets
Patrick Butler, The Guardian, December 13, 2020

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