As we kick off our 'Secret History of East London' project, we chat to the photographer who captured parts of the creative community for the May issue of Dazed & Confused
Fresh from the young photographer's portraits of the artists, designers, musicians, publishers – and beyond – working from the area, Dazed Digital asked Jamie Hawkesworth about his own memories of east London and what he thinks the future holds for the area...
I'm always inspired by people that have a really strong character, a real sense of being and an expressive personality that comes across in the slightest of touches. Pauline Foster, James Edson and Tim Noble were just like this
Dazed Digital: How was the experience photographing the story for Dazed & Confused?
Jamie Hawkesworth: I think it's really important to explore and document new places, and allow yourself as a photographer, to open up to the people who live and work there. If I'm honest, I did have my skepticism of photographing just people from an artistic or fashion background for this project.
This is not a natural forum that inspires me and I felt the born and bred east Londoner had a strong relevance, importance, and presence in producing a really informed and considered outcome. However once embracing the requirements and restrictions of the brief, I really enjoyed developing my understanding of the more artistic/fashion side of east London.
DD: Did any of the people you photographed for us inspire you?
Jamie Hawkesworth: I'm always inspired by people that have a really strong character, a real sense of being and an expressive personality that comes across in the slightest of touches. Pauline Foster, James Edson and Tim Noble were just like this.
DD: Do you live east?
Jamie Hawkesworth: Yep, right in the heart of it. I moved here to be much closer to my darkroom, on Leonard Street. As I shoot film and print my work myself, any time I can save with travel helps a great deal.
DD: Do you have a favorite memory of east London?
Jamie Hawkesworth: Visiting Nigel Shafran's darkroom at London Fields is a highlight for me. I absolutely love his work and we spent time printing photos and having a good chat.
DD: Do you think east London is dead?
Jamie Hawkesworth: Since undertaking this project I've met a lot of people that are moving forward to produce new things and developing what they want to say... and pushing it into new places. However on the other hand, personally, I also think there are routines and processes that have become a custom, that aren't so inspiring and refreshing, and some work being produced is not moving towards a strong or an original voice... I think the future of east london, from a creative a sense, is a questionable one.
Get involved with Dazed's 'A Secret History of East London' HERE - The May issue of Dazed & Confused is out now
Photo by Jamie Hawkesworth