Last night I went to the well attended book launch of “The Isle of Dogs – before the big money” a book of photos by Mike Seabourne. It was held at Café Vert, near Island Gardens, which turned out to be inside George Green’s School. What an excellent piece of outreach! When I went to school (some time ago) schools were insular and crummy. Not this place – I was impressed.
I remember Mike Seabourne from years ago when he was the curator of photographs at the Museum of London. He would occasionally invite a group of us photographers in to show us the latest acquisitions, and we’d have a very interesting discussion.
Mike started taking documentary photographs on the Isle of Dogs in 1982. He was aware that change was coming. In 1983 he contacted Eve Hostettler at the Island History Trust, and had taken over 1,500 photos of the Island by the end of 1985. A selection of those make up this excellent book by Hoxton Mini Press.
In his brief talk at the opening, Mike suggested that we could all be taking photos of the ordinary scenes we see in our daily lives. One day they’ll be gone, and the photos will provide a visual history for future generations.