GREASY spoons, allotments and brownfield sites are the unlikely oeuvre of Philipp Ebeling. For some years, the German photographer has been drawn to the featureless sprawl of Greater London which he continues to discover with relish. His new book and exhibition, London Ends is launched this week at Fishbar Gallery, a converted fish and chip shop in East London. Ebeling’s subject matter is an honest recording of nondescript places which, on closer inspection reveal some unexpected delights and a fascinating insight into London’s lesser-known history.
To compile his project, Ebeling embarked on a ten day pilgrimage of London’s periphery which began from his doorstep in Hackney. His enthusiasm for photography was initially sparked by the sight of Whitechapel Market in a flurry of snow. The photographer explains, “Coming to London from a small village in Germany, I was both overwhelmed and bewitched. I felt compelled to know every last corner of the place, to understand it as fully as I could.”
Ebeling’s unassuming shots are sometimes humorous too. In this image, his wit elevates Waltham’s favourite fodder of mash and eels to almost manna from Heaven.
Pylons and coarse fishermen mark the spot of a long forgotten slice of London history. Creekmouth was the scene of a tragic steamboat disaster in the 1870s whose passengers looked forward to spending a sunny afternoon at the Rocherville Gardens in Gravesend. As the Princess Alice veered towards Tripcock Point, she struck a collier and sank, taking the lives of more than 600 people.
These folks are not picnickers but aviation enthusiasts enjoying the fruits of Heathrow’s South runway. The patch of green at Myrtle Avenue in Hounslow is a plane spotters’ oasis and apparently, the noisiest area in Britain. Air traffic disturbance is an all too familiar issue for those living in the Southeast. Its worsening and unrelenting drone is heard not only within the boundary of Ebeling’s walk, but for miles and miles outside it.
by Miranda Charalambous
Front page image: Myrtle Avenue Picnic, Hounslow by Philipp Ebeling
Tags: Creekmouth > East London > exhibition > Fishbar Gallery > Germany > Hackney > Hounslow > Philipp Ebeling > Rocherville Gardens in Gravesend > Waltham > Whitechapel