London is truly an extraordinary place and the thing that makes it most extraordinary is the people who have been drawn here and who have made their home in the capital: they have brought with them the most amazing diversity of traditions, cultures, and habits, of faiths, expectations and hopes, and these are reflected in the appearance of each and every sitter.
100 Faces of London features portraits of one hundred of these Londoners, reflecting the huge diversity of people who make up this great city of ours. All photographed within a twelve-month period, mostly during 2010, the youngest sitter was 20 and the oldest 100, with every effort made to embrace a broad range of ethnic backgrounds.
From the very outset, the aim was to invite only ‘ordinary Londoners’ to join the project (ie Londoners who were not famous, who were not familiar personalities, politicians, or well-known actors, all of whose faces have been frequently photographed and exhibited). However, once the photography was completed, not one of the sitters, any of whom might have been seen in the capital’s streets, parks or theatre foyers, could have been accurately described as an ‘ordinary Londoner’; they all proved to be quite extraordinary personalities and, perhaps inevitably, a few of them did have significant profiles in the life of the capital.
It must be emphasised that this was an artistic, not a commercial project. All the sitters were volunteers who kindly travelled to the project's temporary studio in Chiswick, where they were photographed just as they were, or as they wished to present themselves. Clothing, hairstyle, make-up, jewellery were left entirely at the discretion of the sitter, with the least possible influence from the photographer. The portraits were deliberately formal, designed to reveal the character and spirit of those who so richly illustrated the astonishing and delightful diversity that was the underlying inspiration for the project.
Images were uploaded to an online gallery as they were captured, but once the 100th sitter had been photographed, it was then possible to proceed to the next stage of the project, the preparation of a ‘Heritage Book’ - see below.
A very large website was gradually created, featuring all the text, images and material associated with this project. While it was hosted for over 10 years, for a variety of reasons, it is now no longer available. However, an eBook can be purchased worldwide and copies of the hardback book can still be ordered too. Please see below.
The Heritage Book
Two folio-size copies of the project's ‘Heritage Book’ were produced: each comprises high-quality prints of all 100 portraits, printed by the photographer, using archival paper, printing inks that incorporate high-density pigments, and with a binding and library case designed for longevity. Epson UK generously part-sponsored the production of these ‘Heritage Books’, with the kind donation of the printing materials. One of the volumes was accepted by the British Library at St Pancras, where it has been lodged within the Library's photographic collections, to be retained for future generations. The second copy remains with the photographer.