Seldom Seen

An exciting curatorial approach for the opening exhibition of a new gallery at 6 Thorpe Close: a collaboration between photography and street art.

Jon Cartwright writes on how this came about:

“This project began in 2008 when Christian Guémy (aka C215) found my photographs online and started using them in his work. We met in person in 2009 and discussed the possibility of a more formal collaboration.

Christian and I share a passion for making visible the hidden, the fleeting, and the overlooked. Christian’s moving and technically astonishing stencils depict many faces of the forgotten and disenfranchised, from the urban homeless in Paris and New York to the street children in the favelas of Sao Paulo. But for this project we wanted to expose another hidden population, and one to whom we all have a connection - older people, so many of whom live alone and in isolation.

Jon Cartwright photo of John Nolan and C215's stencil painting of him

I was to take photographs and these pictures would be passed on to Christian and a hand-picked collection of street artists, chosen for their exemplary work in different media and styles, each to inspire a new and unique piece of work.

Shortly after this meeting I was introduced to Ben Long, a project worker at Age Concern Kensington & Chelsea. Ben runs intergenerational projects at the charity, bringing younger and older people together in a range of roles and activities, for the benefits all involved. It was his support and belief in this project that made it possible.

Ben introduced me to ten older residents, in the Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, and each was an inspiration and a great pleasure to photograph (even retired photographer, John Arthur, who made it quite clear that I was doing it wrong). 

Ben Slow standing next to his painting of Fatemah Feshangchi

By the end of 2010, Christian and I had assembled some of the finest street artists painting today - all exemplars of their style. They are: C215, Alice Pasquini, Cosmo Sarson, Ben Slow, snik, and David le Fleming. These artists took my photographs - simple snapshots of the subjects at home, sitting where they would usually sit - and used them to create these stunning and memorable portraits. “

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