Chris Dorley Brown has been photographing the areas adjacent to the Cut, inspired by both the oral history recordings and research based on existing collections from Hackney Archives and British Waterways. He has assembled a collection of historical photographs and documents from the area that covers the period from the late 1950s to the present day, including his own pictures which date from the 1980s. This period marks the end of the Cut as an essential industrial artery through to it's current "renaissance" as Olympic leisure / regeneration park. “I see the activity around the area bought on by the Olympics as another phase in the history of the area that is not so different to the previous eras when the canal was the epicentre of commerce, industrial entrepreneurship, risk-taking, cowboy schemery and technical innovation. The images document this varied history and are a tribute to an atmosphere loaded with the ghosts of speedway riders, lightermen, tower-block speculators, river-dwelling anarchists, banknote conterfeiters, fish-smokers, hells angels, vagabonds and land grabbers”.
Artist Bio - Chris Dorley Brown has lived and worked in the east end of London for the last thirty years. Largely self-taught his cultural education was formed in east London in the late seventies, against a backdrop of strongly polarised political conflict and change. Working mainly with photography, he has developed an archive images via a series of themed projects studying, architecture, health, regeneration, immigration and the "civic landscape". In addition he has worked with existing public and institutional archives of image and film, making contemporary responses, re-makes and re-workings. Other work includes, film and radio production for BBC and a bit of writing.