Back once again! After a break away from the project forced upon us by relocating our life from North to South London, we return sporadically with some titbits that we'd archived until the dust had fully settled. What better way to ease back into the creativity, than with a real creative. The multifaceted work of Andrew Gillman has been on our radar for sometime. We felt compelled to make a connection, to which he duly obliged and dropped us this top pick of images for Take 5. It's great to be back!
Andrew Gillman is an artist, graffiti writer, location manager and photographer from London. Andrew’s photography usually captures exploration, graffiti, travel and music.
More recently he has started shooting video and also taking portraits. He got his first point and shoot camera aged 12 and has captured different subjects in London whilst growing up. Graffiti has been the main focus, but also rave culture, subterranean London and tower block rooftops.
He is now collating these chapters into books and zines to release in the near future. Andrew also works as a location scout, combining a knowledge of places with filmmaking. He also spends time painting in his studio developing his own art.
Danish Spirit (Above)
Taken in Copenhagen one early morning, I had been out with Tomcat 19 and Sye 5 from New York. We had painted, gotten a posh loaf from a bakers stash and the sun was coming up. The Sabe piece on the right caught my eye and the message ‘Free Your Spirit’ seemed to resonate. This was an accidental double exposure. It seems I took a used film shot at night in London and shot over it in Copenhagen. The results were nice, some of my favourite pics from that summer.
Reuben in Mitcham
A photo of my nephew Reuben standing in front of a piece I did for him in Mitcham, South London. This spot is a huge wall, down an alley and hidden from view but very close to the town centre. I came across it by chance and saw some guys building a house at the end. I asked them if I could paint the wall. They seemed unsure and told me they weren’t interested. I persisted and they eventually agreed.
Whilst painting the piece I soon realised the guys I had asked permission from didn’t have permission to be building there anyway. They were just building a house at the end of this alley, obviously without permission. Anyway, no one seemed to bother us and we didn’t bother each other. I took my nephew to see the piece and he was thrilled. He and his newborn sister Penelope are of great inspiration to me and bring me a lot of joy and love for life. I shot this on expired film which has given a dark pink tinge to the image.
A photo of my friend Taishi from Japan standing on a rooftop in central London. He was over for a week and we tried to show him some interesting spots as he had been a amazing host, showing my girlfriend and I around Tokyo when we were there. This roof is pretty spectacular, mainly because of its positioning right next to the City. On this occasion there was a thick fog, which gave great atmosphere with the lights of the city shining through behind the silhouetted foreground.
Housing Estate Of Mind
A man sitting on a wall in a housing precinct in the South of Paris in Ivry-sur-Seine. This suburb is mainly populated by Chinese community. This is part of an ongoing project with Maëva Berthelot photographing Parisian housing estates. She grew up in this area. I like this shot as it captures a moment of still amongst the bustle and energy of the buildings around him.
A photo of my friend Lucas Dupuy standing on one of the most iconic tower blocks in London; The Balfron Tower. Situated in East London by the Blackwall Tunnel, It was the home to some of the biggest Pirate radio stations throughout the 90’s and 2000’s. A battleground for D.I.Y broadcasters, if you managed to get an aerial up here, your signal could be picked up all over London. Beautiful brutalist architecture, designed by Erno Goldfinger, the building carries the history of underground music in London. There was still a Chubb safe on this roof, which would have once housed a radio transmitter, the idea: to stop the D.T.I (department of trade and industry) or rival radio pirates from stealing your rig. Rinse FM held this block down for years, you can see one of their aerials hidden behind the pipe in the top right of the picture.
Just after Christmas 2017, the council kicked out all of the social tenants and they are now doing a major refurb. The result will be luxury private apartments which will go to the highest bidders. It’s a reflection of whats happening a lot in London at the moment. Social tenants are evicted by their councils who then cash in on their buildings by doing deals with property developers. Meanwhile normal Londoners are forced to move further out into the suburbs whilst central London becomes more and more expensive.
I have found it interesting to document this process and capture the spirit of these estates that are closing and sometimes demolished, before they disappear.
To check out more of Andrew's work head over here to view a social documentation of the places that get forgotten about.