17 July 2012

The Blue Wall by Homer Sykes

Written by Published in Nature

‘When the wall went up, I knew it was time to call it a day,’ This was in 2007, when photographer Homer Sykes, who had been capturing images of the land that would soon be consumed by the London 2012 Games, finished his year long project

The Blue Wall, pictured in one of his photographs, prevented access to the space that is now ready for the biggest sporting event on the planet.
When London won the bid for the Olympics, Sykes, a Canadian born Londoner, was interested in the landscape that would soon change forever.

Not wanting to criticize or praise these changes, he allows people to make up their own minds. His images have very few people in them, but have ample character none the less. One image, taken through a crown shaped piece of broken windowpane, shows how he is able to approach a serious topic in a playful way. ‘This reminded me of one of those paper hats you wear at Christmas time,’ he said. What is apparent is how patience in lengthy projects like this produces some of the best results. One image shows a desolate parking lot with a lone lorry with the words Olympic Foods emblazoned across it. ‘This was one of those little miracle moments,’ said Sykes. ‘You couldn’t ask for anything more perfect.’

Bully Fen Nature Reserve Hackney 2006 East London England As a photojournalist, Homer Sykes has contributed to all the major UK broadsheets including The Sunday Times, The Telegraph and the Observer and has lectured students at the University of Arts London for over ten years. With this in mind, you might not expect to see his latest work exhibited in Green Lens, a tiny studio concerned with sustainability tucked away in a north London street. But that’s exactly what adds to the charm of his work – this interest in the quirky and a complete lack of pretentiousness. Green Lens is the first sustainable photographic studio in the UK.

They recycle 100% of their waste, promote sustainable living in the community and in the conversion of the disused 1880s stables where they are based, they used 70% reclaimed material.

A stark contrast then perhaps, to the Olympic site which has now reached its brand new and shiny completion. But after the blue wall comes down, and all the people have gone home again will we see what will be left behind. 

The Blue Wall exhibition 12th-25th July 2012
Green Lens Studios, 4a Atterbury Road, London N4 1SF

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