The magazine of the art-form of the photo-essay
“A free, really high quality photo-essay magazine. Fabulous!”
Stephen Fry. British actor, writer and film & documentary maker
September 2015 issue
photographs by Berris Conolly
Words by Adrian Wynn
Located in east London just north of The City, Hackney has a
long history stretching back to Tudor times. During the 1980s,
when Berris Conolly took these photographs, it was an area that
had been in decline. This was a decade of turmoil in both
national and local politics, with issues of social justice never far
from the headlines. Today the concerns increasingly revolve
around the gentrification of some areas in the borough and the
disparities of wealth that this exemplifies.
Berris Conolly photographed the places that he knew and that
formed his everyday environment. Using the A-Z, he walked,
cycled or drove down every street looking for images, marking
off the grid squares as he went. There was no conscious or
formal theme to the project, other than to record mainly the
streets and buildings rather than people, though inevitably
people did start to appear in some of the images, either as
figures in the landscape, or frequently at their own request. Often
he would set up the tripod to take an empty scene and passers-
by would ask to be photographed, possibly drawn by the sight of
a large camera and tripod. “Are you from the local paper?” was a common question. The resultant archive comprises over
Beech trees, Springfield Park 1986.
Lordship North Estate. 1987.
Andre Street, 1986.
Ballance Road, 1985.
Hackney Stadium, 1987.
Pearson Street, 1987.
Albion Square, 1987.
Dalston Lane, 1987.
Anchor & Hope, River Lea, 1985.
Ellingfort Road, 1987.
Holywell Row, 1987.
London Fields, 1985.
Linscott Road, 1986.
Broadway Market, 1985.
Ridley Road, 1986.
Shoreditch Station, 1987.
Worship Street, Broad Street Line, 1987.
Clissold Park, 1986.
Filter Beds, Green Lanes, 1987.
Haggerston Park (2), 1986.