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Edge Of The City

May 19, 2016
by the gentle author

Although most of these locations are familiar to me, I did not recognise many of them when I first saw these pictures. Using large plate cameras and taking inspiration from nineteenth century photography, especially the Society for Photographing the Relics of Old London, Robert Moye & Peter Young have created photos of contemporary London that place a distance between the viewer and the subject – as if we were people in the future looking back upon a time gone by or even viewers from the past granted a vision of the London that is to come. Either way, the unfamiliar perspectives of these fascinating photographs have succeeded in rendering afresh the city I know best and it is a strange new world that I discover myself in.

Artillery Lane, E1

Chicksand St, E1

Greatorex St, E1

Ford Sq, E1

Baldwin St, EC1

Clerkenwell Close, EC1

Cranwood St, EC1

Golden Lane Estate, EC1

Leather Lane EC1

Newbury St, EC1

Roberts Place, EC1

Christopher St, EC2

Clere Place, EC2

Dysart St, EC2

Vandy St, EC2

Bream’s Buildings, EC4

Johnson’s Court, EC4

Argyle Walk, WC1

Argyle Walk, EC1

King’s Cross Rd, EC1

Phoenix Place, WC1

St Chad’s Place, WC1

Swinton St, WC1

Wicklow St, WC1

Lindsey St, EC1

Photographs copyright © Robert Moye & Peter Young

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Vanishing London

The Ghosts of Old London

A Room To Let in Old Aldgate

Nicholas Sack in the City

7 Responses leave one →
  1. May 19, 2016

    Beatiful and serene.
    I agree that although most are likely known to the viewer they do appear alien at first.
    I think what renders these pictures as so fascinating is the lack of people, cars, movement etc.
    Like a shot from the 1950s, we rarely see the city in this state is stillness.

  2. Malcolm permalink
    May 19, 2016

    These are impressive images. Empty, eerie streets probably taken early in the morning. Reminiscent of Eugene Atget’s photographs of Paris, they depict the familiar in an unfamiliar way. Being an inveterate rambler of London’s myriad lanes, alleys and hidden places I know most of these streets but the angle of view taken by the photographers reveals some interesting details, such as the façade hanging from the building in Artillery Lane. When you view it from this angle it looks ridiculous. The fact that they are black and white means that we view them almost like abstract paintings, indeed the picture of Golden Lane Estate could almost be a Ben Nicholson or a Mondrian. The light is also important in these pictures. The wet, glistening surfaces of Artillery Lane reflecting the light back onto the buildings in the narrow street, the flat, even light in others serve to flatten perspective of the clustered buildings so they become a collection of lines, planes and shades of grey. And yet there is still that unmistakeable look of London that no other City in the world has.

  3. Edward Rekkers permalink
    May 19, 2016

    Beautiful images, although I’m not surprised the GA didn’t recognise some of them as they are literally from a time gone by. Edmund Martin’s shop is now a gaping hole where the ticket hall for Farringdon Crossrail station is being built. I wonder how many of the other locations have changed.

  4. May 19, 2016

    The photos are good, but it’s a shame that so many of these old streets are already overshadowed by those huge and ugly towers. Valerie

  5. pauline taylor permalink
    May 19, 2016

    Personally I like these images although, unlike others, I am not familiar with the scenes depicted. However I was trained to use a plate camera, and I am really pleased to see that the skill has not been lost. As always black and white does inevitably create more atmosphere than any colour photograph, and reflections from a wet pavement are a gift to the photographer. More like these please GA.

    Perhaps one day someone will take portraits of people with a plate camera again, that I really would like to see, how about it Robert and Peter?

  6. May 20, 2016

    Lovely work.

  7. Jill permalink
    June 14, 2016

    Beauty in austerity. Timeless images. As usual with a unique atmosphere. Thank you.

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