The Arts Professional is proud to support Portobello and Beyond.
A project by German photographer Oliver Dunsch best known for his street photography capturing people in their big-city habitats like London and New York.
Dunsch has spent the last decade living in London where his work has been exhibited at galleries and museums.
The photograph “Mouthwatering” has been part of the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy where its limited edition run has sold out within the first
week of the exhibition.
Other projects by Oliver Dunsch include The Art of Commute, capturing people on the tube and their way to work, a collaboration with nightclub “BEAT” documenting the after-hours of the London night club scene and Cross State Traffic: Arizona an online exhibition on Artsy with Imitate Modern.
About Portobello and Beyond
Portobello and Beyond is a series of photographs of people working in hospitality captured by Oliver Dunsch whilst exploring London and towns along the southern coast of England on his bike. There are two essential details that make this project stand out from previous ones by the photographer. It is exclusively shot in black and white and entirely on film with an analogue camera.
In the words of the photographer himself, this body of work is “about people -not places, not travels and not myself. It is to appreciate what an immense effort, love & dedication they pour into the cup we bluntly call hospitality. But it is so much more: It is the people who open their doors for us to make us feel good, enjoy the admittedly delicious food, the excellently barristafied coffee creations and lovely decorated interiors. For a limited period of time, a guest feels like a friend, is being treated like one and welcomed into someone’s “second” home.
In return, we pay the bill, and most likely add a tip if it hasn’t already been included. A transaction that is so lacking in emotion, an emotion that plays a huge role in this temporary relationship. So in return for smiles, emotions and conversations during these brief but intense friendly encounters, I started taking portraits. Photos with value to save the moment, to create a memory. Nothing digital, but on film, something old school, like holding the door open for someone, being polite and considerate.
Winding the film, enjoying the moment, taking the time to create a still frame, therefore saving the moment in time. And this moment is so precious we actually take our time to see the person behind the counter, behind the job and, unfortunately, for the majority of this year behind the mask. My aim is to give what in the German language is called Gastfreundschaft a face -well, more than 80 faces.”
* The German word “Gastfreundschaft” is normally translated into the English language with “hospitality”. If you split the german compound noun into its parts, it literally means “guest” - “friendship”.
The Portobello and Beyond
The project started in early 2019. The photographs, which are part of the series, have been taken before or during the pandemic. A time when the hospitality industry has been one of the most impacted sectors of the economy with many people losing their work and some of our favourite venues closing their doors possibly forever.
It is also a time when we miss going to these cafes, coffee shops, restaurants and bars more than ever and miss having not only the food and drinks but also a friendly conversation and the feeling of being welcome.
More than ever we miss the people working in hospitality and understand the importance of their work. After many discussions, we embarked on the journey of putting together the photographs by Oliver Dunsch into a limited edition book to celebrate these individuals working in hospitality and hope that people will enjoy looking at their photographs as much as we have.
Production of Portobello and Beyond
We are now at the stage where we have completed the design of the book by putting together the images, texts and graphics. It is ready to be printed by Swallowtail Print and will be published in a limited edition run of 300. This will be the only edition of this book commemorating this unique time.
We have created a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds needed for this book. Please check it out and support the project. We have prepared a range of rewards and hope to make this project happen together with you!