A pet project of leading London-based advertising photographer John Londei is now on display at the National Portrait Gallery until May 2008.
The “Shutting Up Shop” exhibition, sponsored by Rex Features, depicts sixty “now and “then” photographs taken by Londei during the 1970s and 80s of small specialist shops around Britain.
“This project, shot over a fifteen- year period, is my photographic tribute to an era that is fast disappearing.”, says Londei. “It began in the 1970s when I came across an old chemist shop near to my first studio in London’s Clerkenwell district. There was something about the shop that fascinated me. It was
more than a shop; it was a place where people went for advice, where the proprietor had time for his customers. As a photographer I just had to capture it on film: I knew its days were numbered”
“In 2004 I began the task of updating what had become of the shops and the shopkeepers that I’d photographed so long ago. Perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised to discover that so many of the shops closed not long after the pictures were taken”
A selection of images from Shutting Up Shop is now on display at the National Portrait Gallery’s Bookshop Gallery, until May 4th 2008. The exhibition is co-sponsored by Rex Features, which represents John Londei for editorial licensing. Open daily 10am – 6pm; late night opening Thursday and Friday until 9pm, with free entry.