Caught by the River

Residual Traces: Exploring the Ragged Hole in the City's Fabric

1st August 2012

Photo: Channelsea River 2011 by Jason Orton

Last week, Words on Water contributor and longtime friend of the river Bob Stanley wrote about the effects of Olympic regeneration on the Lower Lea Valley in the Guardian. As soon as the Olympics were announced, the Lea Valley was singled out as an ‘opportunity area’ by the GLA. Seven years later and it’s unrecognizable, although living in the neighbouring borough, it’s been hard to miss the changes – much like the industrial chimneys in Danny Boyle’s mind-warping opening ceremony, buildings seemed to fall and rise in the blink of an eye. The whole place is transformed – the question of whether it’s been improved just depends on who you talk to.

Residual Traces is a photographic document of how the area has changed since it was christened a ‘ragged hole in the city’s fabric’ back in 2007 by author and journalist Andy Beckett. A group show brought together by Bridget Coaker, it features work by Jason Orton, Sophia Evans, Jan Stradtmann, Stephen Gill, Gesche Würfel and Zed Nelson. Many of the images are ghostly – echoes of what was once there, what’s now paved over and relandscaped, of sharp edges blunted. Highly recommended.

Residual Traces is on show at Photofusion (17a Electric Lane, London SW9 8LA) until 7th September 2012. Click here to read more about it.