Sep 17–Nov 4, 2021

Londons

The Polycentric City
Address
Store Street, London WC1E 7BT Map
Hours
Mon–Fri 9:30 am–6 pm, Sat 10 am–5 pm

“Shot by eight photographers, Londons – The Polycentric City maps out the capital from eight different perspectives, rejecting a single, monolithic view in favour of a fragmentary, multifarious mosaic. Each photographer worked in a different location, in areas frequented by locals, especially during the lockdowns. These areas aren’t famous or glamorous, but they’re key to understanding the city. London’s urban sprawl expresses its true contemporary identity, including its constant evolution; as such, it holds clues to its future. If this project is a kind of map, it contains the seeds of the next evolution.

Some of those seeds look distinctly dystopian. The landscape in Barking, Kingston, and around the greenbelt are tightly controlled and partitioned, while the wave of new tower blocks in Nine Elms looks overwhelming. Other areas show past failures, initiatives that didn’t pan out, such as the fading carparks in Croydon, or the grimy land under the Westway. Elsewhere London’s a palimpsest, a jumble of time harder to read in Brentford or the strip up to Stratford. Both these areas look out over rivers, ancient and yet ever-changing; you can’t step into the same river twice, so the saying goes. London is 2000 years old, and it’s still in the process of shapeshifting.” – Words by Diane Smyth

Londons showcases the work of photographers Andrew Meredith, Caroline Charrel, Francesco Russo, Henry Woide, Luca Piffaretti, Polly Tootal, Simon Kennedy and Sue Barr. Curated by the members of Mass Collective in partnership with the Building Centre, this exhibition is designed by Brighton-based design studio Stanley James Press.