GILL, Stephen. Hackney Wick. (London): Nobody in association with Archive of Modern Conflict, (2005). PRINT EDITION

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GILL, Stephen.
Hackney Wick.
(London): Nobody in association with Archive of Modern Conflict, (2005).

Square 8vo (215 × 215 mm), pp.[126]. Colour photographs. Design by Melanie Mues. Pictorial endpapers printed in blue. Pictorial blue cloth-covered boards after lino prints by Gill printed in light grey. 24pp booklet with found photographs and flowers and paintings by Laure Provost bound in as issued. Original c-type photograph (209 × 157 mm), signed and dated in black ink on verso. Folded poster. Together in a handmade slipcase made using the sleeve of a vinyl record purchased by Gill at Hackney Wick market. Signed and numbered by Gill on front pastedown. Fine with light wear to the slipcase.

First edition, one of 100 copies issued in a handmade slipcase with a signed photograph and a folded poster. In the accompanying text Gill describes the area and how the project started. ‘Hackney Wick sits in east London between the Grand Union Canal, the River Lea and the Eastway A106. I first came across the area at the end of 2002 when I was photographing the back of advertising billboards. Although I had lived in London for nine years and thought I knew East London well, Hackney Wick threw me; it completely changed my mental map of this part of London. My first visit was on a Sunday, to the market which used to take place in the old greyhound/speedway stadium. The vast market was like no other I had seen before...

That day I bought a plastic camera at the market for 50p; it had a plastic lens with no focus or exposure controls. I started making pictures with it at once. Over the next two years I visited Hackney Wick again and again... The market closed on 13th July, 2003; it had been going for seven years. According to the Trading Standards inspectors it had been swamped with stolen and counterfeit goods. The remains of the old stadium were demolished weeks after the closure as part of the preparations for London’s bid for the 2012 games. The games which will bring many good things to the area: new transport links and much needed infrastructure. But there will be losses, too. There is another side to Hackney Wick. Away from the noise and chaos nature has somehow managed to find and keep a place for itself. The canals and rivers and secret allotments (known only to their dedicated gardeners) are home to many birds and animals. These hidden paradises have a vibrancy of their own which will soon be muted by the dust that will cover them.

Parr, M. and Badger, G., The Photobook: A History vol.II p.324; Neumüller, M and González, Á. L., Martin Parr’s Best Books of the Decade pp.26-27, p.77.

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