In the frame: East Ended by Dougie Wallace

The celebrated documentary photographer holds a lens up to the changing face of Shoreditch

Art and Design 4 Mar 2020

The bustling street of Shoreditch as the subject of Dougie Wallace's latest photography series - East Ended

Glaswegian-born photographer Dougie Wallace has called Shoreditch home for over two decades. So he has seen first-hand the way the area has changed from a gritty district on the fringes of the City to one of London’s most popular and desirable neighbourhoods. Gentrification, for better or worse, has completely transformed the East End. And what was once seen as edgy and anti-establishment, graffiti and street art are now backdrops for Instagram influencers often commissioned by high-profile brands.

In his new photographic exhibition and book of the same name, Wallace takes his famously colourful and expressive vision to the streets of Shoreditch in East Ended. The series is a reflection on gentrification and its often contentious relationship with street art and local communities. Candid, technicolour photographs of hipsters and hedonism are captured in Wallace’s trademark humorous, expressive style.

‘What motivates my pictures is human behaviour. People’s interactions and emotions fascinate me,’ the photographer commented on the project. ‘My stories are thematic. They have similarities of expressions running through them. My work is informed by societies’ trends and incongruities and translating what I see through the lens into wit, criticism and humorous vignettes. I’d like to think that my photos convey a point of view that is believable and absurd.’

East Ended (6–21 March) is on display at Gallery 46 in Whitechapel;