About James
Born and raised in Cardiff, James Davies is a photographer who has lived in London for 13 years. His work centres around the impact of the city upon its citizens and its citizens upon the city, as well as the wider social, economic and political themes that affect daily life in Britain. His most recent series, The Sclerosis of Existence, looks to explore the relationship between the people and the places of a city when seen through the repetition of daily routine.
http://www.jamesdaviesphoto.com
Current city: London
Born and raised in Cardiff, James Davies is a photographer who has lived in London for 13 years. His work centres around the impact of the city upon its citizens and its citizens upon the city, as well as the wider social, economic and political themes that affect daily life in Britain. His most recent series, The Sclerosis of Existence, looks to explore the relationship between the people and the places of a city when seen through the repetition of daily routine.
 
It's such an iconic building and it's always a joy to be anywhere near it. It just dominates the landscape around it. Ever since I first saw the cover of Pink Floyd's Animals I've loved it and I still do. There are always reports in the news for plans for developers to spend billions on refurbishing it. I'd genuinely prefer it to remain as it is rather than see it being turned it into a massive shopping centre full of chain stores. The thought of it being turned into some kind of Westfield full of people on Facebook on their laptops in a Starbucks fills me with rage.
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A traditional pie, mash and liquor shop in south west London that is run by the latest generation of the Harrington family who opened it in 1908. It looks like it hasn't changed since the day it first opened but it's a place with absolutely no pretentiousness to it at all, this is unapologetically working class and down to earth. If you want an overpriced cappuccino and wi-fi there's a Cafe Nerro down the road but if you want fantastic traditional London food you won't find anywhere better in the city. They even do pie and mash to take-away. I just wish it wasn't closed on Sundays.
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In 1936 Oswald Mosley's British Union of Fascists attempted to march through East London in what was an attempt at an intimidating show of strength. Like today, this area was home to a large number of ethnic and religious minorities, particularly Jews. 300,000 people came out to oppose the march and blocked the route. The battle that followed was actually between the protesters and the police who tried to clear the route so that the march could take place. Seeing that they faced a losing battle and possibly a riot Mosley called off the march. The artist Dave Binnington began this mural in 1976 to commemorate that day, and it was eventually finished in 1982. The mural and the battle of Cable Street are both perfect examples of Britain at its very best.
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When I first took up photography I knew it was something I wanted to do but was unsure of what I wanted to take photos off. I started out by mainly photographing London's graffiti and street art. Graffiti isn’t tolerated in London as much as in other cities (such as Berlin or Lisbon) but it has a long history in the capital and if you know where to look there's a lot of it around. Some of the best street artists and graffiti writers in the world either live in or travel to London to use it as a canvas. It's not something I photograph so much anymore but I still admire those who do it. The risks involved and their dedication are truly remarkable. I always wish I had the balls and the talent to try it myself.
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The Nightingale is the antithesis of the hundreds of soulless gastropubs that a lot of decent pubs have recently become and remains everything a proper pub should be. Britain's pubs haven't had it easy lately. The smoking ban and the general effects of the recession have hammered the industry hard. The Nightingale continues to be what it has always been, a proper pub at the heart of the local community. Its annual charity walk has raised nearly £500,000 for good causes in over 30 years and it seems determined to do the things a pub should do and do them properly. Once inside you feel like you could be in a country pub instead of in the middle of South London. There's no jukebox and the TV is hardly ever on, but there’s a great atmosphere with a good set of locals and good drink and food. Bliss.
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