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Roy Clark In Norton Folgate

June 5, 2015
by the gentle author

When I first saw Roy Clark’s photograph of this eighteenth century terrace in Norton Folgate, currently threatened with demolition by British Land, I was startled by the the ethereal beauty of the image. The old building is shrouded, as if swathed in a fine organza silk studded with diamonds, and we are intended to understand this is because it has reached the end of its existence.

In fact, this wrapping of the building is an unlikely fiction implying that without such protection it might fall apart, yet the actual effect is to draw our attention to the quality of the terrace. Rather than being rendered worthless, it becomes a cherished artefact.

Such is the transformative vision of Roy Clark’s photography, illuminating detail and texture which reveal the human presence that might otherwise go disregarded. It is the patina which tells the story of the place, offering evidence of those who have passed through before us in the centuries that the buildings have been in use.

These dreamlike photographs record the play of light and natural elements which transfigure the urban landscape, manifesting the genius loci and capturing the intangible beauty of Norton Folgate that developers mean to destroy, but we are fighting to save.

In Sun Passage

In Elder St

In Elder St

In Blossom St

In Folgate St

In Elder St

In Elder St

In Elder St

In Elder St

In Elder St

In Elder St

In Elder St

In Norton Folgate

Photographs copyright © Roy Clark

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10 Responses leave one →
  1. Pauline Taylor permalink
    June 5, 2015

    I like these. I know that we have said it before but I have to say it again loud and clear, black and white photography captures something that colour photography never does. Congratulations to the photographer for capturing the atmosphere in these so well.


  2. anna permalink
    June 5, 2015

    a dark and melancholy dream of the past…Beautiful!

  3. June 5, 2015

    Lovely photographs…very evocative

  4. June 5, 2015

    It’s like being in a dream… wonderfully atmospheric. Brilliant.

  5. armier permalink
    June 5, 2015

    Achingly beautiful work. Beautiful words too.

    Sincere thanks to you both.


  6. hil sagar permalink
    June 5, 2015

    Great photos!
    Sorry to hijack the comments, but just up the road from Norton Folgate on the Chariots/Majestic wine warehouse site on Great Eastern Street/Fairchild Street/Shoreditch High Street, developers have plans for a 20+ storey building, completely inappropriate for this low-rise area. Do we really need another hotel? Please come and object to this ill-thought out, opportunistic development at the consultation meeting next Thursday 11 June 3-7, White Rabbit Studios, 471-473 The Arches, Dereham Place. More information

  7. Neville Turner permalink
    June 5, 2015

    An interesting and strange set of photo’s as I remember in my memory of parts of Norton Folgate,reminds me of Fritz Lang in some of his 1930’s films.

  8. June 5, 2015

    Such wonderful shots so much better for being in black and white! Loved the wrapped up building it looks like Christo has been at work in Norton Folgate…let’s hope it is gift wrapped as a gift for the local community and not for British Land!

  9. Amanda permalink
    June 6, 2015

    Stunning photographs!

  10. Sophie W permalink
    June 29, 2015


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