Photographer shares fascinating black-and-white images revealing what London’s trendy neighbourhood Dalston looked like in the 1980s
IT’S famed for its all-night bars, gluten-free cafes, art-house cinema and independent clothing boutiques.
But back in the 1980s, Dalston – the now notoriously trendy east London suburb – was very different.
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Photographer Andrew Holligan moved to the then unknown corner of the capital in 1984 after abandoning the New York fashion scene.
A friend owned a flat in Dalston and offered Andrew, then 27, and his American wife a place to stay.
With time on his hands, he headed out onto the streets and started to explore his new neighbourhood.
Using a 1950s Rolleiflex camera, Andrew began documenting the people, the poverty and the humanity he saw.
“I was just curious,” he told the Hackney Gazette.
“There was no motive behind the pictures. I roamed around where I was.”
After leaving Dalston two years later, he stored the photographs away in an old cupboard in his West Sussex home and “had no thought of them”.
Thirty years on, the fascinating black and white images form the subject of a new book called Dalston in the 80s, which has been created in collaboration with Hoxton Mini Press.
Alongside hand-written annotations from Andrew, the book paints a portrait of an area on the brink of gentrification.
Andrew, now 61, said: “There could have been a sense of gentrification when I moved there because a lot of artists were moving in. That could have been the stirring point.
“I wasn’t really trying to make a point at all. It was just a very personal kind of journey.
“I wasn’t looking for poverty or an ethnic multicultural thing. I don’t want to pass judgement on any place or anyone.
“Time and again it was just me going out and meeting the world.”
Dalston in the 80s by Andrew Holligan is published by Hoxton Mini Press, £14.95.
Available from www.hoxtonminipress.com