Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Are You being Served? Exhibition.

Before I started my new job at Tribal, I managed to squeeze in a quick exhibition at the Bethnal Green museum of Childhood. As well as housing a large collection of dolls, toys and childhood memorabilia (remember Strawberry Shortcake!), the space at the front hosts exhibitions of local artists. The current one on show entitled Are you being Served is a collection of photographs by Tom Hunter, portraying the variety and communities of local shops in Hackney and Bethnal Green. All shot front on, to give the viewer the idea of what they may see if they were to be served by the subjects, it is fascinating to see them all as a collection. Yes, as individual images they are intriguing, but it is by seeing the whole series that you really get a feel for the area and the people that inhabit it. The shops give a hint as to the cultural mix of people that are drawn to theses areas and the services or products required. You also get a sense of which shops have staying power or may have been passed down through generations, even those not stopping.
What I liked about them was the great sense of human presence and activity within sometimes a very small space.

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