RIBA presents Forms of Industry, an exhibition of contemporary photographs by Alastair Philip Wiper (1980) and archival images by Eric de Maré (1910-2002) from the RIBA Collections. Separated by more than 50 years, the two photographers share a common interest in industrial buildings and landscapes, yet their differing approaches create a commentary on changing attitudes towards industrialisation and sustainability.
Eric de Maré was one of Britain’s most influential architectural photographers, responsible for raising awareness of the value and beauty of Britain’s overlooked industrial heritage via photographs taken for the Architectural Review in the 1950s and 1960s. A selection from RIBA’s extensive collection of de Maré’s striking images of vernacular structures is displayed here and includes warehouses, factories and shipyards – buildings that came to be labelled the ‘Functional Tradition’.
This display juxtaposes de Maré’s work with large scale colour photographs of contemporary industrial buildings by Alastair Philip Wiper. Wiper’s work offers a contemporary interpretation of the ‘Functional Tradition’ for the 21st century. The long exposure time of his photographs brings a sculptural quality to his work, placing it between the traditions of photojournalism, architectural and art photography. Over the last ten years, he has become a sought-after photographer, commissioned by architectural and design magazines such as Blueprint, Wallpaper*, Icon, VICE, Domus, Wired, the Telegraph and the Guardian.
Forms of Industry highlights the complexity of large-scale production, mass consumerism and its intricate relationship with the environment. By presenting these two bodies of work together, this display evidences the changing nature of industrial processes, materials, and architecture.