In the early 1890’s, the idea behind the formation of The Photographic Salon in England was a simple one: difference of opinion.
Organized by The Linked Ring Brotherhood, a group of like-minded photographers with an international roster, the Salon’s aims were in advancing and promoting artistic photography.
The first exhibit of the Salon was held in 1893 at the Dudley Gallery in Picccadilly and would continue there annually through 1904.
From 1905 until ending in 1909, the annual exhibit was held in London at the Galleries of the Royal Society of Painters in Water Colours at 5a Pall Mall East.
“From 1893-1909 it was unique as an annual exhibition in solely promoting pictorial photography on an international scale and in setting a very high standard of selection of photographs to be shown under the best possible conditions at the time.”
The Pedley St Arch is one of Spitalfields’ most disreputable corners and has been for more than a century, evidenced by this description of it by Emmanuel Litvinoff from his autobiography ‘Journey Through A Small Planet’ (1968) recalling his childhood, growing up in Cheshire St in the nineteen-twenties.
“Late one night, about eleven o’clock, I was detailed to walk Fanya home… There were no unusual signs of debauchery when we came to the railway arch although couples grappled against the dripping walls and tramps lay around parcelled in old newspaper.
The evil was in its gloom, its putrid stench, in the industrial grime of half a century with which it was impregnated.”
You need a strong stomach if you choose to visit the Pedley St Arch, since this is still where people go to urinate and defecate out of hours, and occasionally you will find homeless people taking shelter or dodgy builders dumping rubbish.
But more likely – these days – you will encounter the making of a Hip Hop music video or a fashion shoot for urban streetwear.
If there is such a thing as heritage of grime, Pedley St Arch has it in spades.
Macmillan was a Scottish blacksmith who is credited with the invention of the pedal bicycle.
Kirkpatrick Macmillan was born in 1812 in Dumfriesshire, the son of a blacksmith.
He did a variety of jobs as a young man, before settling into working with his father in 1824. At around that time he saw a hobbyhorse being ridden along a nearby road, and decided to make one for himself.
Upon completion, he realised what a radical improvement it would be if he could propel it without putting his feet on the ground. Working at his smithy, he completed his new machine in around 1839.
This first pedal bicycle was propelled by a horizontal reciprocating movement of the rider’s feet on the pedals.
This movement was transmitted to cranks on the rear wheel by connecting rods; the machine was extremely heavy and the physical effort required to ride it must have been considerable.
Nevertheless, Macmillan quickly mastered the art of riding it on the rough country roads, and was soon accustomed to making the fourteen-mile journey to Dumfries in less than an hour.
His next exploit was to ride the 68 miles into Glasgow in June 1842. The trip took him two days and he was fined five shillings for causing a slight injury to a small girl who ran across his path.
He never thought of patenting his invention or trying to make any money out of it, but others who saw it were not slow to realize its potential, and soon copies began to appear for sale.
Gavin Dalzell of Lesmahagow copied his machine in 1846 and passed on the details to so many people that for more than 50 years he was generally regarded as the inventor of the bicycle.
However, Macmillan was quite unconcerned with the fuss his invention had prompted, preferring to enjoy the quiet country life to which he was accustomed.
Martin Kimbell is a photographer from England who utilizes LEDs and long exposure techniques to create airborne light forms that seem like trails of otherworldy spacecraft. My initial assumption was that Kimbell used some form of small drone with attached lights, similar to Andreas Feininger’s work with helicopters back in 1949, but the photographs are instead made with hoops lined with LEDs that are hurled into the air.
Kimbell was inspired early on by the work of Arizona-based photographer Stu Jenks who uses light and fire to create similar tornado-like images. You can see more of Kimbell’s work over on Flickr.