Exhibition review

Hugh Hill: The Urban Eye

City Hall , London SE1

To 1 April

Star Rating: 5/5

Three years of Hugh Hill’s photos documenting life on the
streets of London are gathered in this exhibition. Many of the
images portray scenes of homelessness that will be familiar to
those of us working in Britain’s towns and cities, writes Mark

Some photographs are of groups of people sleeping rough or
drinking on the streets. Others are sensitive individual portraits.
Each is accompanied by detailed background information and
biographical details of the subjects that provide insight into the
otherwise private worlds.

Hill has gained the trust of some of the most vulnerable people
on the streets and the results are some remarkable photographs.

At the launch, Hill seemed at ease talking to people from all
strata in society – skills essential to developing a rapport with
his subjects.

It would have been interesting to get more background
information on how Hill’s philosophy and values guide him on the
ethical dilemmas inherent in this type of photography.

For example, how did he judge he had obtained the consent of
people with severe mental health problems or those heavily

This fascinating exhibition, part of a series of events
organised by the Greater London Authority related to equality,
reminds us that the gap between the wealthy and the poor in the
capital is shockingly wide.

Mark Drinkwater is a community worker in Southwark,
south London.

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