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UAL Research Online

Circling the Square: Trafalgar Square Through the Camera

Hargreaves, Roger (2003) Circling the Square: Trafalgar Square Through the Camera. [Show/Exhibition]

Type of Research: Show/Exhibition
Creators: Hargreaves, Roger

To coincide with the revitalisation of Trafalgar Square, 'Circling the Square' celebrated the Square's history, through the eyes of generations of photographers, spanning over 160 years.

The exhibition explored the identity of a public space through its photographic representation, and included over 100 photographs that mapped the shifting meanings of a space that has been described as the blank slab upon which Britain has inscribed its modern history.

The images on display were drawn from extensive research in private and public archives, and captured the continuing cycle of political demonstrations, celebratory events and visitors to Trafalgar Square set against an imperceptibly changing backdrop. Featured photographers included Henri Cartier-Bresson, Don McCullin, Norman Parkinson and Oliver Toscani. Subjects included the coronation procession of King George VI in 1937, suffragette riots, a young Elizabeth Taylor being mobbed by pigeons, Michael Foot, Bertrand Russell, the poll tax demonstrations of 1990, and the 2002 football World Cup. Until recently itinerant photographers doubled as pigeon feed sellers and made postcard portraits to sell to tourists. The display includes intriguing and often humorous portraits of the innumerable tourists who have visited the Square over many decades to sit on the famous bronze lions and feed the pigeons.

A paper exploring the role of photography in asserting the identity of the space was presented at the conference, Square Politics at the National Gallery (2003) and a public lecture series was organised at the National Portrait Gallery with speakers including Tariq Ali, Don McCullin and Rodney Mace.

Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > London College of Fashion
Other Affiliations > RAE 2008
Date: 13 September 2003
Related Publications: Trafalgar Square Through the Camera with a forward by Don McCullin, (ISBN 1 85514 345 3, published February 2005).
Event Location: National Portrait Gallery, London
Locations / Venues:
LocationFrom DateTo Date
Studio Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, London, U.K.September 2003February 2004
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2009 21:46
Last Modified: 29 Sep 2010 14:15
Item ID: 1685
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/1685

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