11 July to 4 September 2016, Central Saint Martins, UAL Window Galleries, Kings Cross
This summer Historic England invites London to celebrate its history and heritage with a free exhibition I am London at Central Saint Martins. Kensington Gardens’ Park Manager, Andy Williams has been chosen as one of 60 Londoners, each with a different story to tell, photographed at a historic building or place special to them. Each person’s particular London story is bound up in the place he or she has chosen, showing the city’s heritage can be inspirational, provocative and frustrating whilst at the same time fun, familiar and humbling. For these Londoners, the city’s heritage is a source of pride, a reminder of their city’s past, a foundation for its present, and the building blocks for its future.
Famous Londoners, such as Professor Lord Robert Winston, AC Grayling, Caroline Criado Perez, Bob and Roberta Smith, Central Saint Martins’ alumni graphic designer Morag Myerscough and Amy Lamé join “unsung Londoners” to tell their stories. Historic England has chosen people who bring London’s story to life and show how that story is inextricably linked to the historic places. From the longest running businesses in Smithfield, Billingsgate, Borough and Columbia Road markets and a Yeoman Warder, often known as a Beefeater, at the Tower of London to an apprentice at Anderson and Sheppard Savile Row tailors; from a 7/7 paramedic and a student at the Royal School of Needlework to one of the founders of the Notting Hill Carnival, these 60 people represent the complexity and character of London.
Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive of Historic England, said: “The buildings and places that make up London are as much a part of the city's DNA as the people who live and work in it. In fact, the fortunes of London’s people and its places are inextricably linked. If we lose those historic places, we lose London's identity. This exhibition is a celebration of London’s unique and complex identity. It is as much about its scientific endeavour, cutting edge art, performance and design, politics and campaigning as its pubs, pearly kings and precious parks. It’s a snapshot of this great city in microcosm, told through its people and places.”
Andy Williams, Kensington Gardens' Manager said: “I am very privileged to be chosen to be part of the I am London campaign. There are plenty of things that make London special, but the fact it is one of greenest capital cities in the world, with over 47% of green space is what stands out for me. Kensington Gardens is one of eight Royal Parks that together provide 5,000 acres of historic parkland across the Capital, helping Londoners breathe that bit easier.”
The exhibition is part of Historic England’s 'Keep it London' campaign which will get Londoners to notice, celebrate and speak up for the heritage of their city. The exceptional photography, taken by Historic England photographer Chris Redgrave, will be displayed in the Window Galleries at Central Saint Martins, alongside a selection of objects the sitters chose to be photographed with. Each person chose an object that represents how the person sees themselves as Londoner, their career or how we see the city itself. From Bob and Roberta Smith’s “Vote Bob Smith” badge, to the Pearly King of Finsbury’s jacket, Morag Myerscough’s submarine, once owned by her father, and Scottee’s “yuppie” briefcase, the objects will be gathered together in the exhibition to create a cabinet of curiosities.