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DEPTFORD HIGH STREET
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in many different countries and have always tried to make myself at
home as much as possible by finding a place for myself in the local
community. Coming from a village in the Austrian Alps, I’m used to
bumping into familiar faces wherever I go, buying from local
businesses, and chatting to shop owners, bus drivers and many others. I
guess that it is due to my background that I always long for contact
with the local community, together with an understanding of local
history. Photography is a means of investigation as it allows me to
address strangers and ask their names, about their habits, origins and
other aspects of their lives. Wanting to become familiar with my new
surroundings, and photograph them, creates this desire in me to enter
the various individual shops or service spaces, and by doing so I dive
into the worlds of locals, try their products and services and meet
other people part of this community. In this way I slowly become part
of it, and the feeling of being a member makes me feel at home.
When I moved to Deptford in autumn 2009, I was immediately struck by the strong sense of community here, something I never expected to find in a city like London. Seeing the same faces again and again, encountering groups of people chatting in the streets, hearing shop owners calling their customers by their first names and remembering their wishes from the last visit, shoppers actively supporting local businesses and speaking of the good old days – all this made me realise that I’d come to a special area worth my attention, and as this was my new place of living that I wanted to become a part of, I started my investigation in spring 2010. I’ve heard happy and sad stories, positive and negative aspects of life here, embellished memories of the past and worries about the future, all of which I have recorded to indicate the different attitudes and opinions, the different cultural backgrounds, and the changes that have taken place over the years.
The work has been exhibited in The Greenwich Gallery (2010), St Nicholas Church on Deptford Green (2010) and The Deptford Lounge (2014).