Brick Lane is at the heart of London’s East End and attracts more than it’s fair share of photographers drawn to the area by it’s unique vibe and eclectic mix of personalities.
Leading from Whitechapel to up to Bethnal Green and Shoreditch, the history of the lane is long and complicated. Evolving from a dirt track leading to the claypits of Bethnal Green it has found itself at the centre of various industries such as textiles and brewing over the years. It has seen many people come and go and played host to various waves of immigration from the French, Dutch, Irish, Jewish and Bengalis to Northeners, Arty Types, West Londoners and Hipsters.
The street itself has two unique identities. The northern end has many art galleries, cafes and plays host to the vibrant hub of the old Truman Brewery. The southern end is renowned for it’s indian restaurants and for being the heart of the UK’s largest Bangladeshi community. In terms of street art it boasts some of the very best spots in the city and it’s tributaries on Hanbury, Sclater, Heneage, Pedley, Grimsby, Bacon and Cheshire Streets all help to create what has become a ‘street art quarter’ in this part of London. Simply put it is one of the best places in the World to see high quality outdoor urban art.
Inspiring City has decided to pay tribute to Brick Lane by producing a series of posts celebrating this vibrant place. For our first we have chosen to feature a series of photographs taken by renowned photographer and friend of the city Lewis Phillips which capture some of the day to day eccentricity of the street. He’s featured on this blog before with his ‘Faces in the Tunnel‘ series portraying female street artists painting in the Leake Street Graffiti Tunnel underneath Waterloo Station.
A number of these images are also now showing at the Travel Photographer of the Year Awards at the National Geographic Society along with a host of other excellent images from around the World and which can be seen there until 17th August 2014. Lewis’s website can be found here so check it out but in the meantime have a look at some of the snaps below featuring the brilliant eccentricity of Brick Lane.