Paul Mattson

Marlow & Kabir, Phone City, (C) Paul Mattsson, 2000

These pictures by Paul Mattsson are from 'Portraits from Well Street E9', a photographic documentary of a working class street in Hackney taken during December 2000. As the comments by visitors to original show state, they are "a celebration of Hackney as we know it", at a time when everything here is changing due to the unfortunate consequences of gentrification. But as these photos and the enthusiasm they generated in the community show, there is "still life in East London".

Residents and traders were involved in every stage of the exhibition and then the photographs were exhibited on the very street where they were taken. The underlying motivation was to add to the strong sense of community on Well Street rather than produce an inaccessible and out of context documentary.

The result: an exhibition which was the total opposite of elitism, with an incredibly high turnout and which succeeded in capturing "a real part of Hackney that still has some real working class people in it". The local people were pleased and surprised by the interest, as further comments in the visitor's book revealed:
    "Excellent, it's nice to see pictures of people I know up on the walls, the rich
     upper class people haven't got a clue who we are
    "It's great to see beauty in Hackney";
    "Sweet as a nut mate, made me smile, you can't ask for much more" ;
    "Raised my spirits in an otherwise down-trodden area".

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more - the photograpers
Paul Baldesare   Jim Barron   Chris Dorley-Brown   Peter Marshall  
Paul Mattsson     Derek Ridgers      Mike Seaborne      Paul Trevor



Cities of Walls,
Cities of People


Other shows:

Housing & Homelessness
Cities in Watercolour
City Markets
The City Beautiful
City Journeys
Zen and the art of cities
Cities of Walls, Cities of People


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