Mervyn Diese presents a photographic map of the changes to the area since the artist’s first show at Hundred Years Gallery in 2013.
Featuring the rise and fall of local landmarks:
The Bingo Hall
Cremer Street Studios
The back garden of the Geffrye Museum
The dentist on Kingsland Road
Crispins’ container storage yard
The old glass factory that is now Amazon Fashion
‘Placing shots of how things were right next to how they are now, i want to tell the story of change. People talk about gentrification of urban areas, people talk about neglect of local communities. How exactly do you improve an area that is labelled undesirable because of the problems that hold some communities back, because of the crime and social deprivation there? . . . How do you improve an area without removing and destroying the local community? . . . who are the new people moving in to the space vacated, and what are they bringing? . . . who are the new locals?’
Mervyn Diese is a London born artist working with photography, film, painting and performance. His work reflects his passionate interest in politics and social issues such as homelessness, racism and betterment of the “lower classes”. His involvement with countercultural activities extends back to the 1980`s, when he combined a career as a commercial artist with a passionate engagement with the punk rock scene and the squatting movement.
The artist has been a regular supporter of Hundred Year Gallery over the years since its inception in 2011. He has curated a number of exhibitions at the Gallery that included local artists from the borough and long standing east end practitioners. Today he is returning to his art practice whilst recovering from a brain injury. He has now found the time to develop new ways of expressing himself, conveying his views on current issues connecting to the gentrification of the east end.