The Isle of Dogs: Before the big money by Hoxton Mini Press

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Designed by by Friederike Huber, The Isle of Dogs: Before the big money is published by East London-based company Hoxton Mini Press. Photographer Mike Seaborne has been shooting London since 1979. He was Senior Curator of Photographs at the Museum of London until 2011. This amazing volume also features an introduction by Ken Worpole, a writer and social historian, whose work includes books on architecture, landscape and public policy.

Through a selection of striking black and white images, this beautiful book nostalgically documents the dramatic changes London has seen in the last thirty years. Focusing on Canary Wharf, the centre of the UK and European finance and the West India South Dock among other parts of this island, The Isle of Dogs: Before the big money explores themes of drastic urbanism, British identity and landscape evolution.

Family scenes and calm environments are artistically depicted before massive urban oncoming changes decided by the Mayor of London took over.  The Isle of Dogs, locally referred to as the island, is a geographic area made up of Millwall, Cubitt Town, Canary Wharf and parts of Blackwall, Limehouse and Poplar. These revealing photographs, taken between 1982 and 1987, show the island just before the financial companies moved in and greatly transformed the area forever. Sightings of the Docklands Light Railway construction, factory workers on their tea breaks, and other industrial sites capture the spirit of the human communities who used to live in this part of London. The contrasts between the explosion of constructions and the mundane situations featuring people are dazzling.

This fantastic book is even more relevant now that the UK and London enter the worrying post-Brexit referendum phase. Canary Wharf might be returning to more human scenes highlighted in this remarkable.

 

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