From several trips to Brick Lane over the last couple of years, I was able to categorise the photographs that I took into five groups: Collage and Layering, Street Art, Graffiti and Huguenot Houses.
Again, the question to ask is why did I choose these categories to organise my photos? Brick Lane is a place that is rich with imagery. By creating these categories, I was able to focus on the elements that were crucial to my project, rather than being distracted by all of the other elements that make up the Lane.
I choose to look at the houses on Fournier Street because they are crucial in understanding the story of Brick Lane and the textiles past the Lane has become associated with. The houses were where the Huguenots had settled after fleeing from France due to persecution. The houses are very interesting to look at because they are some of the most important and best-preserved collections of Georgian domestic town-houses Britain. The houses were meant for domestic use but were then occupied by the silk industry when the Huguenots came over. This is relevant to my project as it highlights how important the history of the Lane is to this project and that it is as an integral part as anything else.
Collage and Layering
Collage and layering are integral to the Lane, with posters, graffiti and architectural features all layered up and collaged together to create a new and interesting composition. From layering and collaging, new textures are created with paper from posters being torn off and replaced with paint instead. I like this idea of impermanence of the walls in Brick Lane, they are constantly changing with new posters getting pasted up on the walls according to current events. This makes the walls in Brick Lane always relevant and constantly updated, showing that the walls in Brick Lane can never become dated. This is relevant to my project as I want to use this technique of collaging and layering to create designs that are associated with the Lane but also my family’s history of migration to this country.
Street Art and Graffiti
Street art and graffiti are essential to Brick Lane as it gives a modern feel to the Lane. It contrasts against the rather traditional Huguenot houses on Fournier Street and gives a contemporary feel to the Lane rather than a preserved historical monument. The street art and graffiti gives a personal feel to the lane, as individual artists have taken their time to make their mark on the lane. This not only provides colour inspiration for me but also helps me to look at the geometric shapes created too. Street art also provides interesting details that could inspire my drawing processes and styles too.