I have curated (fancy word for organized) an exhibition entitled Mum Before Me where 12 artists have described aspects of their mother’s life before motherhood. The results are as varied as the artists. Since becoming involved in this project I have had many, often touching, conversations about the women who became our doting or otherwise mothers. Exhibition 24/25 September 2016 www.nunheadarttrail.co.uk
It’s kicking off at the end of the week –Peckham Festival, a celebration of Peckham in its many guises and wealth of talents. My photos of Peckham will grace the walls of the Copeland Gallery. Some, though, will hang at K&K Butchers, a Rye Lane business on the
corner of Choumert Road. These images are titled: Take a Butchers. We have a lot of butcher businesses on Rye Lane and they are distinctive, to say the least. Check out the event at: http://www.peckhamfestival.org/event/reflecting-peckham-take-a-butchers
I went to see William Eggleston’s photos at the National Portrait Gallery. What a treat… many of the images are of the extraordinary in the ordinary. Just my kind of photograph. And with the passage of time how vibrant his photos have become. On my way home, waiting for the bus I took this photo. In the future this will say something of the past.
I mean why would you live anywhere but Peckham? Yes, I know there are reasons, very good ones, for living elsewhere. But does your street cleaner – I bet they have fancy titles like hygiene directors or refuse managers – look as good as this guy in his pair of comic-book glasses, which he swears he can see out of? I thought not.
A blackboard on Barry Road (Peckham Rye end) is headed ‘before I die I want to…’ Here are some of the wishes
see a puffin… say love you… see the Northern lights (with Amy)… hang out with my dog… (dog’s wish – to catch a squirrel)… make a masterpiece… eat around the world… meet David Attenborough… do well in SATs… witness the end of poverty… enjoy every moment…make my kids proud
The little girl’s wish is to dance. I’m not saying what mine was… and by now it has been rubbed away to make room for other people’s wishes .
I am a Rye Poet. We are a triangle of poets. We live near Peckham Rye, which is one explanation for our name; the other is that our poetry can be wry. Tonight we will perform at the Ivy House, London’s first community pub. The pub was saved from demoliton a few years ago by achieving status as a community asset. That wasn’t the end of the story. The next move was to get the community to cough up the cash to put the business back on its tremulous feet. And it did. We did. Now the pub flourishes as a venue for all kinds of entertainment including evenings of poetry and blues. We’re in the pink!
Are you familiar with Desmond’s, the Channel Four sitcom – its longest-ever-running sitcom – and still available for viewing on 4OD? Well, it was inspired by a real barbershop in Peckham. I am exhibiting photos I took over a period of three visits, 2009/10. It was a gloriously ramshackle kind of a place that had seen a lot of life, now consigned to history as it closed six years ago. Here is one of those photos. An exhibition of them is currently being shown at DKUK, a hair salon that doubles as an art gallery.
An example of the new and old face of Peckham.
New is the man pushing a buggy. Once this was a rare sight, now they are everywhere. I wonder, though, if beards are about redressing the balance. As if to say, I may be a caring, sharing type of guy but I’m also a caveman.
New is the Foxtons’ sign, or F for short. They too are everywhere.
Old is the fab looking hairdressers. New and old is the artwork. A portrait of Diana Ross circa 1960?
When I take photos my body is tense in a way that makes me feel centred. Breathing stops on the in-breath. There’s a moment of stillness before the shutter is depressed. I use a camera with a viewfinder, and I’ve just realised that it’s my left eye that does the work.
During the early days of digital photography, I watched a couple at Malaga airport reviewing their holiday photos… they hadn’t even left Spain. Instant nostalgia! Almost made me hanker for the days when you had to wait for the chemist to give you your packet of snaps. ‘You’ll have to come back on Monday.’