Tom Hunter is a photographer who has explored the East End of London and in particularly Hackney Marshes, which is the far side of an area I am thinking of exploring, due to its open space that creates a form of calm and tranquility. However, you are frequently reminded that you are still in London when a train thunders through every few minutes.
Life and Death in Hackney (1997)
The way Home (1997)
The photographs above were taken in the late 90’s to reflect the rave scene in urban areas. The lighting shows that they would have been taken around dawn, when the raves would be coming to an end and the people dispersing. I feel like the use of the light in Life and Death in Hackney creates the emotion of feeling tired and not quite ready for the dawn of the next day and that the Marshes is an area where you could collapse and recover.
Tom Hunter provides a description of the landscape alongside his photographic series, in which he states
‘This maligned and somewhat abandoned area became the epicentre of the new warehouse rave scene of the early 90’s. During this time the old print factories, warehouses and workshops became the playground of a disenchanted generation, taking the DIY culture from the free festival scene and adapting it to the urban wastelands. This Venice of the East End, with its canals, rivers and waterways, made a labyrinth of pleasure gardens and pavilions in which thousands of explorers travelled through a heady mixture of music and drug induced trances.’ (Hunter T, s.d.)
We are now just over 20 years on from when the photographs were taken. The landscape has not changed much, although the rave scene has now long gone. It is now a protected nature park with set out paths, full of cyclists, dog walkers and runners, with rowers travelling up and down the River Leigh. There are still two train lines that run through the Marshes. The tranquility of the landscape is frequently broken up as trains go thundering past serving as a constant reminder that you are still in London.
My idea for a photograph of the Marshes is to capture the wildlife with a train running past in the background together with a view of all the construction on the horizon reflecting the regeneration in the area. The other was to try and capture the rowers on the river Lea with the canal boats and if the timing is right a train running over the rail bridge.
This is a series of photographs to keep in mind when visiting the Marshes and looking at composition.