Saturday, 1 October 2011

Jane Hobson's photographs

Looking around for pictures of the Hornsey Road, I came across Jane Hobson's work. I love her photographs of the people behind the small businesses on the Hornsey Road and I love her description of the project:

'a personal project of editorial portraiture of people who run and work in the small businesses along the Hornsey Road, N19. A fascinating, friendly and diverse bunch of people who are making the project absolutely delightful by allowing me into their worlds. I am learning more about my neighbours this year than in the previous ten! Why didn’t I start sooner?!'

Her photographs are really worth looking at, partly because they are beautiful, and partly because they show what a lot of initiative and originality and hard work there is on this scruffy road.

(Edited to correct errors)


  1. Hi. Thank you for the links to my flickr photographs and my blog. Although not connected with Hornsey Road (apart from the fact I live in the area!), it would be great if you would also link to my professional website: My main work is photographing the performing arts (though I am available also for PR, events and portraiture work for business needs!)

    I'd just like to correct a few things in your post.
    1/ I did not grow up in Upper Holloway (and I have no idea where you got that from!)
    2/ I did not 'fall' into photography - I studied for a degree in Photography and came out with the highest grades ever recorded on my course. It was hard work and a deliberate decision.
    3/ the recession did not 'drive me out' of advertising - as above, it was a conscious decision to retrain to do something I've loved for years on a professional basis

    If you have any top tips for small businesses I could approach to continue the Hornsey Road project (I've stalled a bit since I got busier with theatre and dance work), then please do let me know. It would be great to put on an exhibition at some point - might help with regeneration plans?



  2. Jane,

    That'll teach me to post in a hurry.

    It must be vexing to see yourself misdescribed online, especially if the misdescription seems to dismiss your achievements.

    'Fell into photography' was a dumb phrase, but I meant it in the 'discovered a talent because of adversity' sense. I certainly didn't mean to imply any kind of amateurishness - I suppose I thought that the photographs were so clearly professional that I could get away with shorthand.

    And the rest came from reading this Watford Observer story ( late at night and mis-remembering 'living near' as 'growing up near'.

    Perhaps, on balance, not my finest moment.

    As for businesses to approach on the Hornsey Road - like you I've moved here relatively recently, but I'd love to see your photographs of the junk/vintage shop near W.Plumb's, and of Ajani's, and of that strange model shop and of the Factory Gym, and the pet shop with the huge parrot called Captain Jack, and the lovely owner of the polish shop, and the two shiny new hairdressers and the hairdresser for elderly ladies whose shop's undistinguishable from a flat unless the door is open, and Mr Cee's. I'd also love to see photographs of the inside of the spiritualist church, and the pub turned mosque and even of the mysterious derelict buildings.

    An exhibition would indeed be great. Does Platform have an exhibition space, or is that only for local teenagers?

  3. Hi Della (am assuming that's your name - please correct me if I'm wrong!)

    Thank you for the corrections - please feel free to take the comment down now!

    Great ideas for other businesses to cover - I already have Kelvin at the model shop and have the strange hairdresser, Deja Vu and the spiritualist church on my wish list (the church may prove most difficult - they may see my presence/desire to photograph them/it as voyeuristic rather than documentary but there's only one way to find out I guess!). I hadn't noticed Ajani's until I read your blog and am now planning to go for supper one night soon. I may well take the exisiing photos with me and have a chat to Patrick about the possibility of doing his portrait in the restaurant.

    I think Platform's space would be for their core of teenagers but again, no harm in asking.

    Richard Travers hires his space out so would be great for an exhibition if Platform isn't an option.



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