David Bailey @ William Morris

The names David Bailey and William Morris are not usually associated with one another. As a world famous fashion photographer Bailey is world famous for working with technology while Morris did everything he could to go back to traditional medieval artisan practice. However, that said, both men began life in the east end, and Morris’s former home in Walthamstow is now playing host to some of Bailey’s earliest photographs.

The exhibition is a small one, comprising of just one room with large colour portraits juxtaposing much smaller black and white images of east London from the 1960s. We are shown buildings which have been struck by bombs next to portraits taken in pubs and clubs which intensifies the not so appealing street-scapes. Bailey shows us that the now fashionable Brick Lane and Spitalfields was once not so trendy allowing us to see how much can change in just fifty years.

Whilst the show is small, it is interesting and worth a visit if you’re in the area, however, I can’t help but feel that the venue is a little inappropriate.

David Bailey: East End Faces is on display at the William Morris Gallery until 26 May

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Lizzy Vartanian Collier aka Gallery Girl is a writer and curator based in London. Her work has been featured in publications including Dazed, Hyperallergic and Vogue Arabia. She was curator of Perpetual Movement during AWAN Festival 2018 and in 2019 had a residency at the Lab at Darat Al Funun in Amman, Jordan. She has also worked with Armenia Art Fair for its inaugural edition and previously worked as an editor at I.B.Tauris Publishers. In 2019 she co-founded Arsheef, Yemen’s first contemporary art gallery. She has given workshops at Manara Culture in Amman, Jordan and Victoria and Albert Museum in London, UK. As of 2020 she is currently in law school, with the ambition of greater understanding the intersection between art and the law.

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