Wednesday, August 30, 2006


At the Photographers Gallery there's an exhibition of stills from Michelangelo Antonioni's classic swinging London movie Blow-Up, including some set in south east London locations. There's a shot of David Hemmings emerging from a building with a sign saying National Assistance Board Camberwell Reception Centre - this is the old Spike homeless hostel in Consort Road, SE15 which features at the beginning of the film. Part of this is still standing and has been squatted for several years, with the Council recently granting a licence.

There are also a number of photos of Maryon Park in Charlton, a crucial location where Hemmings' photographer character inadvertently takes pictures of the crime which is central to the film's plot.

Also on at the Photographers Gallery is an exhibition of photos from the London Fire Brigade archive. Thrill to the sight of a 1951 bus crash in the Walworth Road, chortle at a 1947 image of a 'boy being rescued from a milk churn' in Lambeth. My favourite was of a fire in Lyndhurst Grove SE15 in 1963 seemingly contributed to by the haphazard piles of books stacked all over the house including up the staircase. There but for the grace of God go I...

Both run until September 17th and are free. The Gallery is at 5 & 8 Great Newport Street, London WC2H 7HY (Nearest tube Leicester Square).

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