• Damien Williams

Week 3: Musings and research

Updated: Sep 27, 2020

Stephen Gil



The Hackney series shows what you can do in a small space with masses of limitations especially like the Hackney Flowers portraits series:

http://www.stephengill.co.uk/portfolio/portfolio/nggallery/album-1-2/hackney-flower-portraits

“In the recent series Talking to Ants and Best Before End, Gill returns to experimentation with the physical substances of the borough – inviting insects inside his camera, using miscellaneous liquids and other locally-sourced objects to help him craft his images.

Gill notes that during the 14-year period over which these photographs were created he developed “an increasingly strong desire to jump outside of its technical boundaries and to challenge the limitations they imposed”.

As he puts it, his approach was to work with photography’s ‘weaknesses’ and to encourage ‘accidents’ to happen in order “to help arouse the spirit of the subject and convey things in other ways”.

On the images collected in his new publication Not in Service, he says: “Bringing the various Hackney studies together for the first time and experiencing them as a single body of work has been an interesting project for me".


“While my preoccupation has always been about expressing my reaction to the place rather than creating any kind of definition of it, with the benefit of the distance that time offers I now find that in the accumulation of small detail the series collectively have indeed – perhaps inadvertently – captured something of the essence of the Hackney that I have known and loved so well for so long.”


When viewing the images and structure of the project, I feel the captured history and sense of place. There is no ego or manipulation of views just honesty.

https://www.hackneycitizen.co.uk/2013/08/05/stephen-gill-not-in-service/#:~:text=Hackney%2Dbased%20photographer%20Stephen%20Gill,bubble%20that%20is%20the%20Wick.

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