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News: 24 June 2019

Mark Power takes up the challenge

Mark Power, of Network Photographers, was invited by Images of England to photograph a selection of listed buildings in London to publicise the project before the start of the first survey season in 1999. Below, Mark describes how he rose to the challenge.

Click here to see the complete collection of images taken by Mark Power.

Evangelical church buit in 1858, constructed in Iron, Shrubland road, Hackney. Grade II listed.
© Mark Power/Network

My task for Images of England was to take a 'defining image' of one building from a selection of 12 different categories which included amongst others industrial, commercial and recreational building types.

Wembley Stadium opened in 1923, Wembley.
© Mark Power/Network

"Images of England offers a great opportunity for photographers"
Mark Power

I was particularly interested in buildings which were peculiar or oddities, such as the monkey house in London Zoo, or where it wasn't immediately obvious as to why the building was listed, like the Danebury Avenue bungalows in Roehampton, which are not the most aesthetically pleasing but were architecturally important when they were built in the 50s, being the first of their kind.

Capturing that 'defining image' was the hardest part. I had to walk around and around each building to find an aspect which would show as many of the features listed in the description as possible, while at the same time place it in some sort of context. So, although you have to compromise, in a sense, to provide the information, you're all the time still struggling to retain an aesthetic visual aspect.

Tomb of John Gibson, Kensal Green Cemetery. Grade II listed
© Mark Power/Network

Images of England offers a great opportunity for photographers to get their work published and participate in an important project. Also it's a worthwhile challenge, photographically, to operate within the restrictions and boundaries of obtaining one defining image. I certainly found it so. You also have the satisfaction of getting to choose the picture which will represent that building on the internet archive. With 370,000 buildings to record, no one is going to say, 'you should have stood 5 feet to the left.'

Trellick Tower, built between 1968-72 by Erno Goldfinger, Cheltenham Estate, Kensington and Chelsea. Grade II* listed.
© Mark Power/Network

Click here to see the complete collection of images taken by Mark Power.

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