Brick Lane, a location at the heart of East London’s gentrification boom and a street that continues to evolve, has seen different trends occupy the cobbles in years gone by.
The link from Bethnal Green to Spitalfields now acts as the hub for the relentlessly busy Shoreditch area and has done so for decades. While its recent history has seen the rise Pret a Manger and ludicrously overpriced cereal cafes, Brick Lane has acted as a hub for countercultures of the time with a relentless edge.
Paul Trevor, a photographer who thrives on the societal changes of an area and the communication of the people who are living through it, spending three decades capturing life at the heart of London’s fastest-growing regeneration project was always going to be interesting.
A self-taught artist, Paul Trevor honed his skills with prolific style by encompassing the local spirit he too was living part of. In his new book, Once Upon a Time in Brick Lane, the photographer has collected a series of images which kickstarted his career in the arts after taking the bold decision to quit his job as an accountant at the age of 25.
“Looking at Paul’s photographs, you can see all the special, fleeting, human moments,” screenwriter Alan Gilbey writes in the book’s introduction. “With the flick of a shutter, at the perfect time, these people live again. Even in monochrome, there is so much life.”
“Paul Trevor, one of the great unsung heroes of British documentary photography, spent many years during the ’70s and ’80s capturing life on Brick Lane, London’s most iconic East End street,” a description by Hoxton Mini Press reads. “Published here for the very first time, these images, full of humour, grit, love and surprise, capture a vibrant time before the area went through dramatic social change.”
Below, enjoy a sample of Paul Trevor’s work: