Made in Chelsea

 

Halfway down the King’s Road in Chelsea is the Michael Hoppen Gallery at Jubilee Place. A “must visit” here as there is a Jacques-Henri Lartigue exhibition on. JHL (1894–1986) started taking photographs as an eight-year-old. In 2004 the Haywood Gallery in London had a huge Lartigue show that showed both his “albums” and his masterful prints. This photographic journey through his life recorded his transformation from a “snapper” to a fine-art photographer. I’ve been hooked on Lartigue ever since…

A short hop down to the other end of the King’s Road to the TfL arches around Putney Bridge. On the corner of the New King’s Road and Hurlingham Road, the Harrington Porter arch catches my eye. The interior is stylishly designed and sympathetic lighting emphasises their intersecting arches. Marie-Sophie arranges some flowers as I capture the scene using the Nikon FE hand-held. Literally underneath Putney Bridge Station we meet David rubbing down a wooden table outside his Fabweld arch. A complete contrast from my previous shot but the railway arches in Putney are nothing but diverse!

Crossing the Thames on the footbridge we arrive at the King’s Arches near Putney Bridge Road. The arch is full of wood dust but the visually pleasing joinery workshop of Todi and Boys looks good. Csaba is making a bespoke window frame. Next door, a business that my research for this trip had flagged up. Zinc White “frame pictures, prints and objects” and their lovely arch is easily the lightest one that I’ve had the pleasure to shoot in. I can shoot at 1/250th here. Bliss! Natural light abounds with sunshine streaming in both front and back. I had pre-visualised my photograph here… so I asked Ian if he would oblige. They found the largest dark coloured frame in the place and held it aloft, with their heads within the picture frame. The framers framed! Thanks Sofie, Ian and Michael.

The names in the frame... Ian, Sofie and Michael at Zinc White

The names in the frame... Ian, Sofie and Michael at Zinc White

 

Dog Day Afternoon...

 

I'm visiting north-west South Bermondsey! It’s the run-up to Christmas and so I’m expecting to have to make a few revisits when the arch occupants are less busy. The Olive Oil Company and The Urban Flower Firm in Raymouth Road SE16 are such cases.

At the old Spa Road Station building, I meet Pauline at Dynamic Vines who shows me around their vast arches – the walls are stacked with wine bottles – a great backdrop for my photographs. I’ll return on a Saturday during their wine tasting sessions. Next Partizan Brewing and The London Honey Company – both future revisits.

Once the railway ticket office, now Dynamic Vines.

Once the railway ticket office, now Dynamic Vines.

I’m nearly back to previous shooting territory at Enid Street and Rope Walk in Bermondsey. At LASSCO I meet Jasper, who featured in my candid LASSCO flooring photograph. Nice chap!

On Druid Street I find the arch at Rima & McRae open. They produce bespoke finishes for smart interiors. This is a perfect scene for capturing my images.

Lastly, walking along Crucifix Lane, I remember that Dallas and Angel at the DnA Factory in Herne Hill have some of their sculptures showing in a gallery here. I pop into Underdog Art and meet Sammy and Lee, and Sammy's dog, Henk. All three of them are very willing for me to shoot in their superb cavernous gallery space. Using both my Nikon FE and Pentax67, I roll off many frames… a great ending to a long day.

Underdog Art – art with a real dog!

Underdog Art – art with a real dog!

 

Farewell to an Arthouse Archway...

 

I’ve got permission from Amy at Le Pain Quotidien head office to shoot at their South Bank restaurant, so that’s our first stop.  Using my Pentax 67 on a tripod, I photograph the original arch at the rear of the premises featuring wonderfully lit brickwork.  I even get a latte on the house!

Next, on to Druid Cycles in Roper Lane near Druid Street, Southwark. I’m hoping they are open, but alas not so.

Then north to Haggerston. At Turning Earth Ceramics in Whiston Street, the large studio is busy with potters working at individual benches. The arch is well-lit and features a rear half-moon window with daylight pouring in. I’m keen to get some close-up shots here, and Olivia is willing to be my subject. Sometimes you know immediately that images will really work in monochrome, and this is one of those occasions.

Walking south, my next call is Pretorius Bikes in Drysdale Street, Shoreditch. I start shooting, but quickly realise this arch would be crowded with ‘bikies’ at their ‘after-work’ bar later in the day. Another for the re-visit list…

Across the road we find Shem clearing up at the Hoxton Gallery, empty since its last exhibition and being readied for closure and a move to a much bigger space in Old Street – goodbye Shoreditch, hello EC1. The arch is very dark, but hand-held at 1/30, I click away on my Nikon FE on 400 ASA film hoping for the best. The results are moody, gritty and atmospheric to say the least!

Farewell to the arch... The old Hoxton Gallery before its move to Old Street.

Farewell to the arch... The old Hoxton Gallery before its move to Old Street.