Looking at Prints I’ve Made for (Re)constructing Deptford

I think the images I’ve produced for my Body of Work work best when printed at a large size. This is because there are some details in my images which wouldn’t be as appreciable at a smaller print size. These include people who are distant in the frame and signs of wear in the older buildings. In this post I’ve documented my thoughts when looking at the prints. I also made a video of myself looking the prints and describing them, but for the purposes of this blog, the script I used to make the video still offers a good insight into how I perceive my images to work.

(Re)constructing Deptford I

Image 1: There are signs of wear on the ground which weren’t there 6 months previously and I quite like the leaning lamppost set against the straight lines of Canary Wharf and the surrounding buildings. The middle ground is quite near to the river, where the royal docks would have once stood. While this isn’t obvious to the viewer, looking closer it is just possible to see a rowing boat or two which points to the recreational activities that occur on the river nowadays. As well as this, the foreground is a popular jogging/cycling path along the Thames path, so you’ve got the more recreational activities in the foreground juxtaposed with the business centre of Canary Wharf in the background. This shows how the docks and areas around them have recovered after deindustrialisation which is reflected in my accompanying poem for this image.

Mismatched Reflections I

Image 2: This is one of my favourite images from the series, mainly because of the young person performing a wheelie in one direction while everything else moves more orthodoxly in the other. It is also an important image in my project because it actually shows development taking place in the middle ground with a further new development already completed in the distance. In the other images, change is suggested. The people in the foreground could almost suggest the variety of opinions on regeneration in Deptford, with some people feeling like it is a good or necessary thing, some just accepting it and some veering the other way.

Reconstructing Deptford III

Image 3: A heavily graffitied wall separates a communal pathway and some more new developments. Lots of hidden elements are present in this image like the graffiti on the wall changing frequently as new graffiti is sprayed on, the developments on the right were only completed about a year ago and the vehicles on the left are no longer allowed to park there. Therefore I feel the accompanying poem really helps to contextualise all the change taking place while the wall (not the graffiti) stays still. Lastly on this image, the Docklands Light Railway train system and other rail services feature heavily in my project because I feel the infrastructure is one reason Deptford is becoming a more attractive area for development/to live in.

Reconstructing Deptford IV

Image 4: Juxtaposition is a big part of how I’ve composed all my images but this is especially true of this 4th image. In the foreground there is an old, derelict pub with foliage growing on it, adding to the feeling of neglect. In the background there is a new development which to me shows how Deptford is changing. Who knows if the once pub will undergo some transformation? Also the selection of people in this image show how Deptford is used in a variety of ways. The number of people present in the image does hint at the composite approach, any more and it might appear unnatural and any less, the sense of community might not be as strong.

Mismatched Reflections III

Image 5: The anchor is the first thing that stood out to me when composing this scene. This was firstly because it acts as a strong foreground element when juxtaposed with the (fairly new) tower block in the distance. Secondly, the anchor wasn’t around for a number of years after a dispute about how it was being used by local people. I feel the anchor being reinstated (albeit in a slightly different position) was a good result for the community of Deptford.

Reconstructing Deptford VI

Image 6: I included this image because of the old, disused and dilapidated building which used to be a picture framers in the middle and the new flats on the left of the frame. I liked the details in this image with the faded writing of the picture framers and the crow standing on top of the building.

Reconstructing Deptford VII

Image 7: This was another case of juxtaposition with the old sign set against the new, gated developments on the right. I was lucky to get a bicyclist leaving the gated development which I feel strengthens the image as there is a sense of segregation with the people walking in front of the old sign and the gated development with the bicyclist leaving it. In retrospect I could possibly have improved the composition by adjusting the view more to the right or going for a slightly wider perspective so there was more of the gated development in the frame.

Mismatched Reflections IV

Image 8: This was a strong and important image for (Re)constructing Deptford in my opinion because of the evidence of art galleries in the scene. I would suggest art is implicated in the process of regeneration as can be seen in my Extended Written Project for Contextual Studies. The inclusion of art galleries (many of which are popping up around Deptford) could be an indicator of gentrification (which can be perceived as both positive and negative) occurring in the area. The art galleries being set against the Docklands Light Railway and new developments in the distance further strengthens this notion.

Mismatched Reflections II

Image 9: Although at first glance this image might seem mostly about the train station, I was actually focussing on the arches and the people in Deptford Market Yard when I composed it. The ‘To Let’ sign shows change taking place in the arches. The people are mainly using the Deptford Market Yard here as a conduit for the station but there are signs like the café benches how this area can used recreationally. It is also the most apparent of the 4 images which feature reflections that by looking closely it is possible to discern a disparity between the people featured in the image and the reflections in the windows. 

Reconstructing Deptford X

Image 10: This is another image of the Deptford Market Yard, this time looking out onto Deptford High Street. Standing out in this image for me is the billboard, notably advertising a property rental company, which to me speaks that Deptford is an up and coming place to rent.

Reconstructing Deptford XI

Image 11: Again featured in this image is the Docklands Light Railway but this time I am picking it out because its colour red matches the jumper the woman standing in the foreground is holding. I thought I would mention this because the cloudy weather I used throughout I feel really accentuates colours and it was a good lighting condition for this as well as for making the composites. Another reason for using overcast light was consistency for the project which for me makes the project more cohesive.

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