South London Photographer: Exhibiting work at the Grosvenor Arms, SW18

For those of you in the SW18 area, or if this corner of London is easy enough to get to, do pop into one of my local pubs run by friend and businessman, Brendan Conway. Pictures from my project documenting the Grosvenor Arms’ refurbishment, along with a handful of images I took while covering events in the pub will be on display for the duration of half term and for a short time afterwards. The exhibition was part of a first year anniversary celebration held in the Grosvenor on Thursday evening; a successful evening attended by locals and supporters of the venture and the work.

Here is a short extract from the accompanying text that supports the images. The full text can be read in the pub or on the Grosvenor’s Facebook page.

“Brendan, who looks to the past when he narrates the touching memory he has about his father and the local pub, quotes social scientist, Gregory Bateson in his written work; “Stories are the royal road to the study of relationships. What is important in a story, what is true in it, is not the plot, the things or the people in the story, but the relationships in them.” (1972)

These images document social relations that are integral to here, this place and to now. They acknowledge multiple layers of past and make it welcome not only in the present, but in our imagined futures too.” (Field, 2017)

I’d like to say a very public thank you to the people who allowed me to photograph them, to Brendan Conway and his wife Rowan who have been extraordinary supporters of me and my work and to everyone in the community who have demonstrated their enthusiasm and continued backing.  Following the exhibition, images will be be given to the people in the pictures.

Image (c)SJField 2016

LR Grosvenor Sarah-Jane Field 2016-5665

South London Photographer: St Patrick’s Day at The Grosvenor Arms

Since I had an exceptionally early start on Saturday morning, I was only able to pop into my local pub, The Grosvenor Arms, for a short stint on Friday evening. Of course, Friday was a big night on the calendar for pub owner and landlord, Brendan Conway, and so it was great to see the place absolutely heaving downstairs, and also occupied upstairs with an event hosted by my children’s school’s PTA. I took photographs last year on Paddy’s night just before Brendan closed for refurbishment, so it was good to see how things had developed. Here are a few images from the revelling this year. You can see a short collection of images from my work documenting the pub last year here, and we do plan to exhibit the images very soon (life has been super busy for all so an earlier plan had to be delayed but we’re getting there and will let you know about it when everything has been confirmed).

Images (c)SJField 2017

 

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South London Photographer: Midsummer’s fun at the Grosvenor Arms

I was so impressed at the Grosvenor Arms the other night.  The open mike night run by It’s Ok, I’m with the Band was really fun and all the talented people who got up to join in were fantastic.  A lovely way to spend a hot summer’s evening, although busy as I was taking pictures and listening, I did keep losing my shandy!  Here are a few shots of some of the guests along with the band, and of course people just hanging out, listening to the music and enjoying themselves too.

(c)SJField 2016

South London Photographer: Focusing on community

Last night I photographed an event at the Grosvenor Arms, where I’ve been documenting some changes since Brendan Conway and his partners took it over.  The group are studying ways to create ventures that encourage genuine human connection within communities, and looking at ways of providing spaces where positive interaction between businesses, families and individuals can occur.  It’s really great to know these concerns are bing addressed by society.

I was lucky with the light and some great moments.  I left the group having a brilliant time and I hope they enjoyed themselves.

Short blog this time – but I’ll be back soon!

SJ

Images (c)SJField 2016

 

South London Photographer: Documenting changes at the Grosvenor Arms

I feel really lucky to have been asked to document the restoration of a Victorian pub in Wandsworth, and to be involved in some small way in the project. As I have alluded to on social media, Brendan Conway, the new joint owner of the Grosvenor Arms has plans that go far beyond merely updating a building, albeit one that has already benefitted from an injection of cash thanks to him and his team.  It is not merely a superficial project.  Brendan and his wife, Rowan, along with his brother Fintan, have committed to ensuring the pub is part of the community, a place where people can meet, get to know each other, hold events and share ideas. I really admire the project as it is rooted in ethics and motivations that are quite different to what we have come to expect from large corporations that often take over old pubs, either homogenising or plasticising them. And even removing crisps from the menu! I mean it – I once tried to get a packet of crisps in one such homogenised pub and was told they only do home-made ones, but since the chef was off they couldn’t supply me with any, and had no alternative snacks either…. true story, in a pub! Gentrification with its head right up its wots it in that particular case…. Worse still, large organisations have often knocked these old buildings down, buildings that were once the centre of communities, and replaced them with flats no one can afford, designed for singletons and couples rather than familes, making it harder for people to live. Brendan is keen to prevent Garratt Lane from turning into a place that has few places for locals to meet up, and his biggest wish, from what I can make out, is to regenerate not wealth, but instead a healthy sense of community and solid relationships within it.  I also like that Brendan has so much time and respect for the previous landlady and the customers who frequented the pub before he took it over.  All in all, I think he’s on to a winner. And I think the world and businesses need more people with ideas like Brendan’s and less of the homogenising building types along with the community demolishers out there.

This week I am posting  a handful of photographs that give you an indication of the enormous amount of work that has gone into the refurbishment. Plus a couple of others from the opening party. See the Grosvenor Arm’s social media and website for more.

All images (c)SJField 2016  – please get in touch if you wish to use any of these images.

The images below start with shots from the pub before it was closed for refurbishment, and show some during the process. The last four are from just before opening on Saturday evening at 8pm.

Just some of the images from Saturday night’s opening.  A really busy successful evening and the first of many to come.  Good luck, Grosvenor Arms and the Conways!