Magnum photographer Chris Steele-Perkins is currently showing classic work in London, in the prestigious agency’s headline anniversary shows. But he’s also showing his most recent project, The New Londoners, at a Photo London fringe event, the FIX Photo Festival, held in the Bargehouse at the Oxo Tower on the South Bank.
Exploring the city’s diversity by showing families from each of the 197 nationalities who live in it, Steele-Perkins’ project is an elegant intervention into the current debate around national identities – as befits a photographer whose mother was Burmese, and whose wife is Japanese. Steele-Perkins will be on hand to discuss the project on Friday 18 May, along with four other photographers showing work at FIX Photo – Carlotta Cardana, Mike Crawford, Celine Marchbank, and Kevin Vucic-Shepherd.
“I am really proud of the quality of this years’ work,” says Laura Noble, the London-based curator who has organised the festival. “There is a lot to see – over 300 pieces showcased along ten rooms and four floors. [But] the exhibition is curated in a way that the works are all interconnected and the whole show flows from one subject to another. There is a connection between each body of work, whether visual or conceptual.
“Carlotta Cardana is presenting a project about native Americans in the contemporary culture, which has been placed alongside Yvonne De Rosa’s series shot in Albania,” she continues, “in which she creates a sort of dialogue with her grandfather, who was a soldier in Albania in 1912.”
Another notable work comes from Misha Haller, who has been photographing families and environment in London’s suburbs. “It’s a celebration rather than a critique, despite the common trend to depict suburbia as a dirty part of the world,” comments Noble.
Some of the artists included in the show were found via an open competition, which was judged by Noble, Steele-Perkins, the photographer Lottie Davies and the editor of Digital Camera Magazine, Ben Brain. The overall winner of the FIX Photo Festival Awards 2017 was Caroline Gavazzi, who won £1000 plus a portfolio of 30 LumeJet prints.
Fix Photo Festival is free and will be at Bargehouse at Oxo Tower Wharf until 21 May. www.lauraannnoble.com/fixphoto/