Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Exhibition: Elisabeth Blanchet's photographs of the Excalibur estate

I first read about the Excalibur estate in southeast London in a magazine story by the photo-journo duo, Megan Taylor and Ros Anderson. 

They covered this 150,000-strong post-war mini village of prefab bungalows when news of its impending redevelopment/destruction was announced last year. The portraits and interviews are lovely – you can check them out here. Meanwhile, another photographer, Elisabeth Blanchet has documented the estate, this time focusing as much on the buildings as the people living in them.

She spent 11 years working on the project and I think her intimate, warm photographs are beautiful – and sometimes sad...

There's an exhibition if you happen to be able to get to in south London – Brixton – but if not, do check out Elisabeth Blanchet's website. She works freelance for the likes of Time Out London and, in France, Marie Claire and Le Figaro. She's also responsible for the stills for the controversial ad campaign for Channel 4's Big Fat Gypsy Wedding series. Her portraits, aside from that strapline, which Blanchet had nothing to do with, were beautiful. She also documented – very movingly – the eviction from Dale Farm Travellers' Site. Other projects have included Ceausescu's Orphans, 20 Years On and, on a lighthearted tip, some brilliantly scary hen parties in Blackpool. Check out her impressive portfolio.

The exhibition is on until 2 August in south London, at Brixton's Photofusion Gallery, 17A Electric Lane,  London SW9 8LA, tel: 020 7738 5774. There is also an upcoming guided tour of the estate led by Blanchet, which you can book at the Photofusion website.

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