Thursday, 25 August 2011

Phil Maxwell ~ A Retrospective (Photographic Journey 1970s - Today)

Mercadito Productions presents
Phil Maxwell
Forty Years On - A Retrospective
30th September - 30th November 2011
Bishopsgate Institute

29th Sept 6-9pm (invitation only)

Bishopsgate Institute Library / Rough Trade East London

“As a visual artist photography facilitates my exploration and interpretation of
class, culture, human relationships and society… I try to capture and
celebrate the reality of life as it is for the majority of people… ” Phil Maxwell

Phil Maxwell ~ A Retrospective
Forty Years On: A photographic journey from the 70’s to the present.
Launching PHOTOMONTH EAST LONDON International Photography Festival.

Celebrating 40 years of Phil Maxwell’s work and its archiving for public use by the Bishopsgate Institute, the exhibition takes you on a journey through his youth in Liverpool to his later life in the East End of London. Housed in two venues - the Bishopsgate Institute and Rough Trade – you can walk between the two buildings and experience the vibrancy of the East End first hand.

This is the East End seen through Phil Maxwell’s lens - his backdrop and canvass against which he’s captured sketches of life, documenting an instant in time and the social conditions and history of his community.

“The area where I live is a kind of microcosm of the world - not only because of the different ethnic groups or the many languages spoken here. You’ve also got the rich and the poor very close together; you’ve got the dynamic between the City and what is the poorest part of the UK. I find this really fascinating. It’s a market which brings together the different and I’ve got this passion for photographing the people: what they are wearing, the way they walk and the way they interact with the environment says a lot about them. It’s like a theatre that resonates the cultures of the planet and I think this makes it even more interesting. “Phil Maxwell

At times subtle, at times explicit, Maxwell’s photographs carry a weight of context confirmed by his awareness of the political and social history of the East End and its people. His enduring images have been exhibited all over Europe and as far away as Bangladesh but here, they are showcased in the community they chronicle. The decision by Bishopsgate Institute to archive his body of work for public use marks the creation of a local legacy which, however, transcends the boundaries of the locality.

“The Bishopsgate Institute is absolutely delighted to be hosting the retrospective of Phil Maxwell’s photographs and to be working on the project to archive and make available Phil’s wonderful archive. His work is a incomparable and seminal resource for understanding the culture and life of the East End of London in the late 20th and early 21st Century.” Stefan Dickers – Chief Librarian Bishopsgate Library

Phil Maxwell Photography -

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