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 is a London-based writer with a special interest in contemporary Middle Eastern Art. She has a BA in Art History and an MA in Contemporary Art and Art Theory of Asia and Africa from the School of Oriental and African Studies. She runs the Gallery Girl blog and has written for After Nyne, Arteviste, Canvas Magazine, Harper's Bazaar Arabia, Ibraaz, Jdeed Magazine, ReOrient and Suitcase Magazine. Lizzy is also curator of Arab Women Artists Now - AWAN 2018 (London).

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