Before The Olympics, the Lea Valley 1981-2010, started as a presentation I gave at the London International Documentary Festival in April 2010. Two months later I made it into a book which was published on Blurb and was made a staff pick. In November 2010 I was asked to talk about it during Blurb's week of photography events in London. The book is still available on Blurb and you can preview it in full there.
My first visit to the Lea was in the month before commercial barge traffic on the navigation ended and I began to explore an area which was then an exciting mix of wilderness, dereliction and industry and in parts a curious oasis close to the centre of the city. I returned to the area occasionally over the years, producing many black and white and colour photographs.
The book Before the Olympics covers the Lea from its source near Luton to the Thames, although concentrating on it within Greater London, and shows it as a valuable resource before the Olympics, as well as a little of the changes these are making. For this show I have chosen to show only black and white pictures, from my first ten years (1982-92) photographing in the Stratford Marsh area close to the main Olympic stadium, now largely transformed out of existence.
Peter Marshall is a photographer and writer who taught photography for over 30 years. He took up photography seriously after studying photography, film and media studies as a part of his post-graduate teaching qualification in 1971. Later he studied with a number of well-known photographers, including Raymond Moore.
Since his first published work in 1973,
his pictures and writing on photography have appeared in a wide range of books
and magazines. For eight years he gained a large international audience writing
the commercial web site 'About Photography', developing it into a
major on-line resource on photography and the history of photography (his
material is no longer on-line.) He has lectured at international photographic
festivals in Bielsko-Biala, Poland (2005 and 2007) and Brasilia (2007.)
He now writes for his own >Re:PHOTO blog as well as occasionally for other sites. His pictures appear on the blog and also on other sites including 'London's Industrial Heritage', 'The Buildings of London', 'The River Lea' and 'My London Diary', as well as the 'Urban Landscapes' site which he runs with Mike Seaborne. His work is also used in magazines, newspapers and books.
Peter has been featured in international
photographic festivals in Poland (2005) and Brazil (2007) and his pictures
are in various public and private collections, including that of the Museum