Chris Dorley-Brown's unique and off-kilter imagery of his hometown streets of the London Borough of Hackney is comprised of many separate relatively narrow captures taken from the same vantage point over an extended period, sometimes up to an hour at a time. The artist sets up the camera in one location, and tilts and pans around the cityscape to capture the activity on the street, along with its unsuspecting protagonists. Once he has returned to the studio, the artist overlays the resulting moments into one central composition or alternate reality, which initially presents the viewer with a sense of familiarity, but dually takes on a surreal or dreamlike tone.
Largely self-taught, Dorley-Brown's cultural education was formed in east London in the late seventies, against a backdrop of strong political polarization and change. After leaving school, Dorley-Brown trained as a silkscreen printer and print finisher, and later joined the photographer Red Saunders' studio as a camera assistant. In 1984, Dorley-Brown began creating a photographic archive of the streets of Hackney where he lived and worked, and which has been an ongoing impetus and the primary focus of his work.
Chris Dorley-Brown's work includes filmmaking and other activities associated with burgeoning new technologies. Since 1993 Dorley-Brown has collaborated with other practitioners of various creative disciplines, as well as entities and individuals in the public sphere on a variety of projects in radio, print, cinema, television, internet and architecture. Project partners have included the BBC, Museum of London, Homerton Hospital, the Wellcome Collection and various London Borough archives. Recent publications include photo books The Longest Way Round (Overlapse, 2015), Drivers in the 1980s (Hoxton Mini-Press, 2015), The Corners (Hoxton Mini-Press, 2018) and The East End in Colour: The Photography of David Granick (Hoxton Mini-Press, 2018).
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