Photographer Phil Sharp began his Ermine Street series by setting a pretty strict geographical restriction on himself. He would walk no further than 100 metres from his front door in London’s Stoke Newington in search of subject matter.
“I was living on the high street and decided that the people passing by my window every day provided enough inspiration to start a series,” he says. “There was no need for me to go halfway around the world, when there was so much life and character quite literally on my doorstep.”
When Phil moved a mile or so north, the series slowly grew to become Ermine Street, a wider project that captures characters along one road that cuts through the city. From Seven Sisters, through Dalston, Shoreditch and Bishopsgate to London Bridge, the expressive photographs show the diverse faces along the Roman road now called the A10.
The portraits are packed with incredible detail, emotion and personality. Shot in black and white, and cropped fairly consistently to head and shoulders, the variable in the series becomes the people captured, showcasing their variety.
“I started to see Ermine Street as a metaphor for London. The road is born out of the river, and moves through areas of fabulous wealth, poverty, gentrification, creation, calm and chaos.”
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