The photographs in this series are my response to the changes wrought by the construction of the Shard in an area close to the river Thames in London. I began the project in the summer of 2011, when the economy was still recovering from the shockwaves following the credit crunch of 2008/09. These images provide a narrative through which people’s individual concerns, the economic downturn and the shifting urban landscape can be traced, through a kind of collective anxiety.
The area around the Shard was once home to breweries, several tanneries and a leather market ; there are close-knit working class communities south of London Bridge station and there were once several missions here (providing aid for the poor). This was also the location of one of London’s early social housing developments, a response to overcrowding in the 18th and 19th centuries.
The building of the Shard has introduced a seismic shift in this area of south east London. After largely resisting gentrification over the last few decades the streets and other public spaces have fallen under the wider influence of the Shard. The recent radical changes to London Bridge station underline that retail space has become a main consideration in any new development of this kind.