An exhibition of striking new photographs of people from East London community groups who are working with the National Portrait Gallery
opened on July 27 2011 at the View Tube, a café and arts space close to the Olympic Park. Exploring stories of inspiration, talent and team-work in the five Olympic host boroughs, Road to 2012: A Local Story features a selection of images and recordings of community groups. These include Repton Boxing Club in Bethnal Green, Docklands Sailing and Watersport Centre in the Isle of Dogs, Youngs Table Tennis Group in Abbey Wood and the East London Wheelchair Athletics Club in Mile End.
Documented by East-London photographer Katherine Green Road to 2012: A Local Story highlights east London perspectives on the changing landscape and the impact of the Games on the local environment. The exhibition shows young people and adults actively involved in community sport and social groups in the boroughs of Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest, Newham and Greenwich. Road to 2012: A Local Story is a participation strand of the National Portrait Gallery/BT Road to 2012 Project and complements the recently opened Road to 2012: Changing Pace at the National Portrait Gallery.
Katherine Green is a photographer, born in East London, UK in 1974. Katherine studied postgraduate photography at Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, London and fine art at Surrey Institute of Art & Design. Her work has been published in The Guardian, Time Out and The Big Issue and she has had solo shows in London and Wolverhampton. She has self-published two books, Wood Street, E17 and Last Days at the Dogs. Katherines work often focuses on documenting communities through photography and oral history, exploring what community means to different people.
Alongside the exhibition, the National Portrait Gallery is running a series of photography masterclasses on Saturdays at the View Tube with high-profile photographers involved in the National Portrait Gallery/BT Road to 2012 Project. These free workshops open to all will focus on portrait photography using the Olympic Stadium as the backdrop. The photographers leading the workshops are Brian Griffin, Bettina von Zwehl, Emma Hardy and Katherine Green.
Helen Whiteoak, Head of Participation, National Portrait Gallery, London, says: Working with participants from East London community groups and capturing their perspectives on the impact of London 2012 to their local area is an extremely vital and exciting aspect of the Road to 2012 project. Working in partnership with the View Tube to showcase these recordings alongside documentary photography of the participants by Katherine Green, the location of the exhibition in the shadow of the Olympic Stadium provides the ideal setting for community reflections of hope and aspiration.
The View Tube is a vibrant cafe and arts space that look directly over the Olympic Park and has impressive close-up views of the Stadium, Anish Kapoors Orbit, and the Aquatics Centre. It is the best place in London to see the constantly changing landscape of the park and includes bicycle hire, an artist garden and social events.
The Gallerys partnership with the View Tube is the perfect setting for Road to 2012: A Local Story. Visitors are able to see the exhibition of photographs of local community groups and listen to their perspectives and reflections at an audiopost whilst looking out over the Olympic Park and seeing the construction and completion of the site.
In addition to the community groups featured in this exhibition, Road to 2012: A Local Story is also working with the Royal London Society for the Blind in Tower Hamlets, Branches homeless shelter in Waltham Forest, London Fields Lido in Hackney, Blackheath Fencing club in Greenwich and Ashton-Mansfield community centre in Newham.