Chris Dorley Brown has documented London's East End all his life. Today, we are delighted to present this collection in a retrospective book - the photographer's first monograph.
Chris Dorley Brown is a self-taught British documentary photographer, based in London's East End. His cultural education was formed in East London in the late 1970s, against a backdrop of highly polarized political conflict and change.
The photographs presented in this book - over 100 - were taken between 1984 and 2023. The journey through the book is like taking a stroll: starting on the banks of the Thames, we discover the vernacular architecture of the 1980s; their demolition a few years later; followed by more recent architecture. We follow the transformations brought about by construction for the Olympic Games; then, the deserted streets during lockdown; ending on the banks of the Thames, almost at its mouth. One-offs, here and there, intersperse these main themes.
Texts and leaflets are included in the book. The author recounts his career with a certain ease that reminds us, his publishers, of his oratorical skills: the depictions are very visual, and anecdotes are related side-by-side with his most profound thoughts..
This photographic work is given the scope it deserves in the book, revealing the history of the East End. It is also, and above all, a depiction of how capitalism and development took on new forms as it spread through the area.
The book's graphic design is by Marie Pellaton. In alignment with the photographic work, she designed a sober, minimalistic layout in a format adapted to that of the photographs. The texts are translated into French by Pierre-Louis Brunet.
Nouveau Palais is a french publishing house with documentary photography as main subject.
We value the text and the way it can work with pictures.
Design : Juliette Duhé et Sébastien Riollier
Code : Élie Quintard
The pictures in this book are not images that were commissioned
by newspapers, magazines or any other institution. Each image is
an experiment, an adventure, a trip in a time machine, a possible
answer to a question that you had never been asked. They aim to
record and preserve, an ongoing archive of east London’s cycle of
shrinkage and expansion, triumph and failure. To be put away and
viewed later when the dust has settled. To let the intervening time
infuse the image with mystery and seduction.”
Chris Dorley Brown