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Work / Photography

Nick Turpin makes wet winter bus journeys somehow seem beautiful

Nick Turpin succinctly captures some of Londoners’ least comfortable moments – cooped up in the hot breath and bad smells of a sweltering bus in winter. It’s sticky, it’s awful, and time seems to stop still as the wheels crawl wheezily along. The beauty of Nick Turpin’s work is that it almost makes you forget all that, instead turning these seemingly endless minutes into painterly portraits of Londoners at their most bored, tired and exasperated.

The combination of rainswept windows and lamplight make for images that are like oil paintings – stunning flashes of colour that belie the sticky hell they portray. There’s both a detachment and an intimacy to the works that form the series, entitled Through a Glass Darkly (the title borrows from Corinthians). Nick describes the project as taking the approach of a street photographer, continuing his interest in “recording the way that we live and making as close to a document as photography is capable of”.

“I photograph people without interaction and the pictures are un-retouched apart from colour and contrast corrections”, he explains. “It’s amazing how much variety there can be in the pictures, the people, the weather, the age and type of bus all play a part, I even have a shot with blue light in the background from a passing police vehicle. The pictures are intimate glimpses of people during that strange time between leaving the office and arriving home when you are almost between two identities. The project also raises questions about voyeurism and public and private space."

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Nick Turpin: Through a Glass Darkly

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Nick Turpin: Through a Glass Darkly

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Nick Turpin: Through a Glass Darkly

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Nick Turpin: Through a Glass Darkly

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Nick Turpin: Through a Glass Darkly

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Nick Turpin: Through a Glass Darkly