John Angerson: Sleeping Rough


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John Angerson lives and works in London. His photographs illustrate several books including 'St. George's Crypt. Entertaining Angels' about a homeless centre in Leeds, and the fascinating 'Love Power Sacrifice' about Britain's Jesus Army, an evangelical religious sect. I recommend 'Sustain' on John's website, a beautiful project on dying and displaced fishing communities.

Sleeping Rough: Living on the streets of Britain.

"The latest local government homelessness statistics suggest approximately 80,000 households in England are homeless. With this in mind, photographer John Angerson spent a year engaging with a group of society that is often considered problematic for image-makers.  The most common depiction of this marginalized group is imagery of people with weather beaten faces living in extreme conditions. Rather than depict the despair of being homeless Angerson wanted to convey a feeling of what it is like to live on the streets and it was this concept that gave him the impetus to create landscape images at night.

After conducting interviews with the service users of hostels and homeless charities Angerson began to build up a selection of locations across England known for being destinations for overnight sleeping. By using only the artificial light found at night he was forced to make exposures of up to 90 minutes for each photograph. This more oblique approach of documenting the dimly lit stairwells of shopping malls, or strange corners of tourist areas that would normally be packed with day trippers, invites the viewer into another world, evoking a sense of how it might feel to sleep rough."

Neville Street, Leeds © John Angerson

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