The East: London’s Creative Hotspot

Photograph above taken by Johanna Neurath, of Columbia Road during its famous Flower Market.

East London is an area of the capital with a rich history. A bomb fell on our very own Wimborne House (originally a Milliners) during WW2, piercing the roof and all floors and landing in the basement undetonated. To this day you can still see repairs throughout the building. Perseverance Works has been home to many important businesses over the years, and in 2017 was awarded a local heritage listing.

We are delighted, then, to be hosting the historic 5th birthday party of East London’s very own independent publishers, Hoxton Mini Press, and taking a central role in supporting local culture.

Hoxton Mini Press started when Martin Usborne, a Hackney-based photographer, saw an old man in Hoxton Square looking distinctly out of place amongst the neon-clad youth and asked to take his portrait.

So began an unexpected friendship. After many years of taking pictures and interviews Martin created a book about this tender old man who had lived in East London his whole life but had never had a relationship. The first edition sold out so quickly that Martin, with his wife Ann Waldovogel, decided to set up a publishing company, Hoxton Mini Press, dedicated to making art books just about East London. In recent years they have branched into books about New York, Berlin and London as a whole. Yet still east London is where their heart lies. 

We certainly agree that East London offers some of the best material for street photography anywhere in the world. Home to a colourful mix of eccentric characters as well as vibrant culture and businesses (not to mention world-famous street art), East London has cemented its reputation as a place of experimentation and creativity.

Dougie Wallace
Dougie Wallace, Bethnal Green

All photographs you see here are taken from the new book ‘East London Stories’, published by Hoxton Mini Press. They appear alongside new text and a map of East London showing where the projects were taken, each chapter of selected images captures a unique aspect of the area’s character: from Hackney’s eccentric inhabitants and tranquil waterways to famous flower markets, 1980s Dalston and wild nightlife in Shoreditch.

JJ Media Group will continue to champion grassroots photography and is committed to supporting art and culture in East London. Happy Birthday, Hoxton Mini Press!!

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For further information about this book or to see a review copy, please contact Fiona Smith: 07831 193250 / East London Photo Stories by Hoxton Mini Press is launched on 15th November, at JJ Media Group.

Polly Braden & David Campany
Polly Braden & David Campany, Lee Valley