2009 - 2019

LONDON FROM THE ROOFTOPS: A DECADE OF CHANGE

For the last 10 years, North London photographer James Burns has been photographing the capital from the unique vantage point of its high rise rooftops. In this time, London has undergone a vertical revolution, with so many new skyscrapers that the skyline is almost unrecognisable compared to how it looked in 2010.

19th- 21st November 2019, noon-11pm at The Steel Yard, 13-16 Allhallows Lane, London EC4R 3UL

Centre Point Sunrise 2019
Centre Point Sunrise 2019

As the decade draws to a close, James has curated the most breath-taking moments in his London from the Rooftops collection for a brief exhibition at The Steel Yard. This is more than a documentary look at architectural change. James’s intuitive understanding of the weather leads him to capture London’s burgeoning skyline at moments of epic natural wonder, from ethereal, misty dawns, to electric midnight storms.

Barbican Storm 2017
Barbican Storm 2017

As well as stunning large format prints, the exhibition will also feature a screening area, where visitors can sit and watch a more in-depth slide show that takes you through the decade.

Born and bred Londoner James, has been capturing views for London’s high rise property owners and developers for 15 years. I became a big fan several years ago when I came across him on Twitter and have been intrigued by his work ever since. His epic photography is regularly featured in the national press (Guardian, Times, FT, Evening Standard, Telegraph, The Week), and he has also been followed in several documentaries both at home and abroad (BBC, ARTE, GLOBO). 

James Burns 2019 by Chelone Wolf
James Burns 2019 by Chelone Wolf

James says “I love this city, it inspires me endlessly and I had no idea when I started out that it would become so inexorably more exciting to photograph. We have some stunning new landmarks that have become almost instantly iconic and an absolute joy to photograph alongside our world-famous heritage sites. There’s no city on earth with quite the same dynamic architectural variety as London and we can feel proud of that.

Centre point view 2010
Centre point view 2010

“Although I shoot London’s views in a professional capacity for property clients, it began as a passion and it still is. I shoot mostly alone and often just for the sheer joy it brings me to watch the interplay of light unfold between the city and the sky. I always leave the roof in a better mood than when I arrived, because the rooftops allow you to connect with everything and everyone around you whilst simultaneously experiencing a wonderfully grounding sense of stillness and solitude. 

“So it brings me great joy to share these scenes with you and ultimately I hope that you leave this exhibition with the same emotion that I leave the rooftops. With a feeling of inspiration, wonder and connection to nature, your city and your place within it.”

Images © James Burns.

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