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Nicholas Sack in the City

April 17, 2013
by the gentle author

“I’ve done a lot of loitering on street corners,” Photographer Nicholas Sack confessed to me shamelessly, when I quizzed him about his curious pictures of the workers in the City of London, “it might take several visits to the same spot for the right arrangement of people to form in the viewfinder.”

Nicholas’ photographs brilliantly capture the strange dynamic which exists upon the pavements of the City in contrast to the narrow streets of the East End, where people jostle each other as they wander through the crowded markets. In the City, pedestrians maintain a respectful distance as they walk and the overbearing corporate architecture creates tense spaces which are not designed for lingering. “The smart and unshowy attire of office workers appeals to my love of order,” Nicholas admitted to me, revealing his equivocation on the subject, “yet the human figure can look physically rather absurd, especially when walking – Lowry knew that, and so did John Cleese.”

Working on film and framing his subjects immaculately, Nicholas uses photography to expose the spatial dynamics of power with humour and sardonic poetry. “Over many years of stalking the streets, I have learned how to lift things out of the ordinary.” he confided to me – exercising an anthropologist’s scrutiny upon the ways of that mysterious tribe which inhabits the Square Mile.

Photographs copyright © Nicholas Sack

“Uncommon Ground,” Nicholas Sack’s new book of photography is available here

9 Responses leave one →
  1. Brad permalink
    April 17, 2013

    I’ve known Nick for 33 years but only spoken to him for 3.
    Love his understated style and wish him all the success he deserves.
    is there possibly a slight tip of the hat to “Hypnosis” here ? You know……….all those surreal album covers from the “whenevers”

  2. April 17, 2013

    Wonderful images – I’m not normally one who enjoys such structured order in photos but these really appeal to me. The light angles are marvellous.

  3. Peter Holford permalink
    April 17, 2013

    Beautifully observed pictures. Many of these are studies in isolation with each figure seemingly unrelated to any of the others in the frame. Very revealing about the social context of the City. It makes me glad I never worked there – but then again I never had any intention of working there!

  4. April 17, 2013

    I love these: the balance and order of the compositions combined with a certain wit make for striking images of scenes that could otherwise seem banal.

  5. PeteG permalink
    April 17, 2013

    I knew I’d seen the style somewhere before . Well done, Brad, Hipgnosis it is. I had a book of their album covers once and that was some time ago. These are excellent photos that appeal to me on a strange subconscious level.
    Great work.

  6. Martin Gore permalink
    April 18, 2013

    “Excuse me! I’m sure the Ministry of Silly Walks is located somewhere around here?”

  7. Chris Lewis permalink
    April 18, 2013

    I like the photos. Makes a change from all this blurry, over/underexposed b*llsh*t you seem to get nowadays – someone who actually knows how to use a camera…

  8. sprite permalink
    April 18, 2013

    Remake of Fritz Lang Metropolis?

    city walkers –
    the sun sharpened lines
    0f our shadow play


  9. April 23, 2013

    Every one a subtle combination of recognition and surprise. Yes — I’ve seen such a thing, but it wasn’t like that when I looked, and I missed it.

    The human figure and the abstract design held in delicate balance. More of these, please.

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