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For the London Festival of Architecture 2019, Anise Gallery and Matthew White are curating a photographic documentation of the Old Kent Road. A homage to Ed Ruscha’s ‘Every Building on the Sunset Strip 1966’ the final work will be presented as an elevation of the full 1.8 miles on either side of the road, depicting the architecture, scale and culture.
Using the same methodology as Ruscha’s iconic work, the photographs will be taken from a moving truck that will drive along the Old Kent Road. Stitching them together in post production will then allow a complete overview of the road as one image, a never before seen perspective.
The 2019 theme for the London Festival of Architecture is ‘Boundaries’. The Old Kent Road is one of the oldest roads in London, and has been the main artery connecting London with Europe for over 2000 years. The road was part of the Roman Watling Street, extending from Dover to Canterbury, and then onto London. It was the main route to the south-east of England from the Roman period until the introduction of the railways in C19. Historically Watling Street has been used as a boundary, today the Old Kent Road acts as an informal boundary between Bermondsey to the north and Peckham to the south.
Old Kent Road has a long evolving history, the changes due to the Bakerloo Line Extension to Lewisham could however be the most sudden to date. The planned tube extension has caused major development plans to be drawn up including 20,000 new homes and 5000 new jobs over the next 2 decades. White’s photography will therefore become an important historical record and document of this infamous London road.