David O’Mara’s Spitalfields
I have published many pictures of renovations of old houses in Spitalfields but David O’Mara‘s candid photography reveals the other side of these stories, recording the back-breaking labour and human toil that is expended upon these endeavours
“For the past ten years I have worked as a painter & decorator in London, both as a means of surviving and also funding my artistic practice – but the roles of artist & decorator are not always easily reconciled, time demands and budgets often lead to a conflict of interests.
My work is described as ‘restoration,’ though I began to question the truth of this description. From the beginning, you strip back the layers of previous occupants. Cupboards, doors and walls that were later additions are all removed. At every turn and removal you notice the evidence of previous lives, all to be erased and replaced with freshly painted blank surfaces – everything is pared back to the tabula rasa.
This has a resonance with my own experience: the daily repetition of tasks erodes memory, time is distilled into but a few recollections. I started photographing my working life as a way of recording the disappearing history of the houses and also to combat the erosion of memory through the repetition of work.” – David O’Mara
Photographs copyright © David O’Mara
You may also like to read about