UEL photo students chronicle Olympics’ effect on east Londoners

PUBLISHED: 08:00 27 August 2012

Fred by Greg Hayward from the series Two Hundred and Twenty Metres

Fred by Greg Hayward from the series Two Hundred and Twenty Metres


Students from the University of East London have documented the impact of the Olympics through a series of photographs.

Daniel Townsend by Joe Bullock from the series The Green LegacyDaniel Townsend by Joe Bullock from the series The Green Legacy

UEL’s fine art and photography students have created Facing East, an exhibition resulting from a twelve-week project focusing on themes or groups of sitters in the build-up to London 2012.

The result is an exhibition of 65 photographs of East Londoners that document the impact of the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympic Games on their communities. Itopened at Four Corners, Bethnal Green on August 9.

Images include local Games volunteers, people working for the Green Legacy in the Lee Valley, commuter journeys as well as swimming club members and coffee shop baristas.

As well as curating and staging the exhibition under the guidance of National Portrait Gallery staff, the students developed their practice over a ten-week course of master classes and critique sessions led by internationally renowned photographers Anderson & Low, Jillian Edelstein, Brian Griffin, Emma Hardy, Nadav Kander and Bettina von Zwehl.

Over the last three years, these photographers have been commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery as part of the National Portrait Gallery/BT Road to 2012 Cultural Olympiad project.

Professor Catherine Harper, Dean of the School of Arts & Digital Industries, UEL, said: “This project has given the students a wonderful opportunity to explore contemporary photography and hone their professional skills through working alongside the truly inspirational Road to 2012 photographers.”

Sarah Dimmock, student, said: “Being part of the Road to 2012 has been a great privilege and I feel honoured to have met some of the worlds’ greatest photographers. It‘s been an unbelievable journey.’

Road to 2012: Facing East is part of the London 2012 Festival, the spectacular 12-week nationwide celebration running from June 21 until September 9 bringing together leading artists from across the world with the very best from the UK.

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Newham Recorder. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Newham Recorder