Vincenzo Albano ARPS

...impermanent moments of impermanent lives...

RPS projects and Open College of the Arts

RPS SW London Group - Industrial Thames (2018)

RPS Project Frontiers: Photographing Edgelands (2021)

The River Thames and surrounding water features are central to SW London life; the River is now mainly used for leisure and, to a certain extent, transport but, in the past, the Thames must have been busy with barges and boats connecting Boroughs along its banks and facilitating the movement of goods and people.

Is there any sign of such past activities? Is there an industrial or commercial use of the River nowadays? How has its use changed over time?

I have tried to provide a glimpse of the relics of the historical use of the River together with contemporary industrial features.

Hope my images would inspire some reflection on how the River’s use has evolved over time. 

Mushrooming Urbanisation

Rapid increase in urban population and economic activities command new working and living spaces. However, space is a limited resource, with height becoming the only alternative for development. Skylines are changing dramatically; tall buildings are mushrooming in large Cities and London is not exempt. Often, new developments unfold to the detriment of natural and cultural resources, like rivers, parks and historical buildings. 

1. River Wandle (London) from Spit Island

2. River Wandle (London) diving under Southside Shopping centre in Wandsworth

3. Office block in Colliers Wood (London)

4. Urban development from Lambeth Bridge (London)

5. Canary Wharf and Docklands (London) 

RPS Project - The Magnificent 7+1 (2022-2023)

The RPS London Region Group has launched a photographic project covering the seven Monumental London Cemeteries. Here is my contribution, entirely photographed at West Norwood Cemetery, in 2021 & 2022. 

Most graves bear very few details about the lives of the people buried there; a name, two dates and maybe some hints on who they were. Some, more affluent people, have managed to include epitaphs with information about their achievements and personality traits, but the majority have left only the bare minimum about themselves. 

 Since the invention of photography, portraits have been used on tombstones. Often simple passport-style pictures, sometimes casual images, maybe taken on social and joyous occasions, sometimes formal portraits. In any case, photography has become a way to immortalise the features of the person and maybe share something more about their lives. As the saying goes “a picture is worth one thousand words…” 

 As a photographer, I was curious to explore how photography is used on gravestones, and whether the addition of an image makes that person alive again, even just for a brief moment that we pause in front of them in respectful reflection. 

Open College of the Arts

The "Art of Photography" course final assignment - October 2002

The City of London is one of the most fascinating and historic areas in London. Centuries of history and commerce have shaped the City of London as the busiest financial centre in Europe. Rapidly evolving to respond to business growing demand, the City boosts modern and high-tech structures, but still features buildings of the past that have been retained and preserved carefully. The cohabitation of old and new creates interesting contrasts in the architecture and next to ‘state of the art’ buildings, old 17th Century Churches still sound their bells announcing religious services, or next to the now fully electronic Stock Exchange, 18th Century pubs welcome stockbrokers. 

 The following sequence of images aims to present the City of London cohabitation of old and new, an exemplar lesson of progress into the 21st Century, still preserving the past and its values. 

Open College of the Arts

"Social Documentary" course final assignment - September 2004

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