A new book captures the view from Primrose Hill through all the seasons, and the people who play upon its "stage".
We all know the view from Primrose Hill... but did you ever step back to view the viewers? Photographer Louis Berk is a regular up there, and delights in watching how people respond to the views, and to each other.
His book Primrose Hill: The London Stage explores this relationship between people and landscape. Here, he picks out six of his favourite shots from the book.
Autumn on Primrose Hill (2013)
“This is the view that draws visitors to the summit of Primrose Hill. My favourite time of the year is late Autumn when the low winter sun brings out the greens and browns in the foliage and the clear air makes the buildings really stand out.”
Primrose Hill as a stage (June 2020)
“I began to notice on my visits to Primrose Hill that my ‘photographer’s eye’ was drawn not just to the view but also the interaction between the visitors and the view. It occurred to me that viewpoint was a ‘stage’ and the visitors became ‘players’ creating stories out of their interactions with the scenery. I began to photograph them as an intrinsic part of the landscape. The idea for the book, ‘Primrose Hill: The London Stage', was formed.”
Summer approaches on Primrose Hill (June 2021)
“I like to approach the summit from the northern side of the hill. I like how the buildings begin to rise up from the floor of the stage creating an interesting profile with the visitors.”
Lockdown lookout on Primrose Hill (Feb 2021)
“I began the project in earnest in 2019 and of course, like everyone, was blissfully unaware of the impending seriousness of what was coming. In this way the book covers the ‘London Stage’ during the ‘Acts’ before, during (as is the case with this photograph) and after the pandemic.”
Primrose Hill in the rain (Dec 2019)
“Braving a typically wet and windy winter day, even though somewhat deserted, ‘players’ often still create ‘dramas’ on the ‘London Stage’ while the scenery looks on.”
A hole in the sky (Aug 2020)
“On a tempestuous summer day the clouds part to create a spotlight onto the ‘London Stage’ as a tableaux forms out of the visitors and the scenery.”
Louis Berk is a professional photographer who previously impressed us with Whitechapel in 50 Buildings and his study of Whitechapel doorways. His photography has been used in books, magazines, national newspapers and online.
The book ‘Primrose Hill: The London Stage’ is published by Whitechapel Eye Publishers and is limited to 100 copies signed and numbered by the author, Louis Berk. It is available online as well as from the Owl Bookshop in Kentish Town, and the Brick Lane Bookshop in Spitalfields.