Hungry Eye News:
Jeffrey Stockbridge Show
at The Wapping Project
Bankside, London

The Divine Lorraine, 5th Floor by Jeffrey Stockbridge

Jeffrey Stockbridge was awarded 3rd place in the Taylor-Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize, National Portrait Gallery, in 2010 and invited to join The Wapping Project Bankside as a gallery artist. He lives in Philadelphia and this is his first solo show in the UK.

Twenty eight images reflect on his work from 2005-2008 and cover three projects, Occupied (2005-2006), The Divine Lorraine (2007) and Philadelphia (2008).

“A house is a container for life. Years after a house has been abandoned, signs of life persist. On any given day, the sun rises and permeates dark corners and shadowed rooms. The natural light flooding the interior evokes the memory of past occupants and reveals artefacts left behind. The scene is ripe with metaphors. The bond between human beings and their shelter emerges, standing as a testament to those who once called their house a home.” Occupied, 2005-2006“The Divine Lorraine Hotel was built in the late 1890’s in North Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

It originally functioned as nouveau-riche apartments. In 1948, the building was sold to Father Divine, leader of the Universal Peace Mission Movement. and became the first building of its kind to be fully racially integrated. Men and women of all races and religions inhabited the building under the rules of the movement. The Divine Lorraine was sold in 2000, and has been abandoned for more than a decade. Development has stalled and the once beautiful multi-racial icon sits awaiting an uncertain future.” The Divine Lorraine, 2007

“Philadelphia is both dead and alive at the same time. Philadelphia was hit hard by the postindustrial economic decline during the mid to late 20th century. My work as a photographer explores the state of mind of these neglected neighbourhoods.

I am interested in the concept of shelter and its relationship to survival. Drug use, prostitution, and vacant homes are deeply ingrained in the culture of Philadelphia. They stand as a result of poverty but they also propel it. Many people ask me why I choose to photograph such a negative subject matter. My answer is, “I live in this city”.

Jefferey Stockbridge: Photographs 2005 – 2008
The Wapping Project Bankside
16 July – 3 September 2011