‘You don’t need to look far to be inspired’: the extraordinary lives of ordinary people

One hundred intimate portraits of east Londoners– aged between one and 100– capture lifes universal minutes of accomplishment and sorrow

For the next 5 years, prints of the one hundred separate images will be exhibited on the wall of the three-storey high atrium of The Britannia Leisure Centre in Hackneys Shoreditch Park. As Lewis notes: “Everyone exists.”.

One of the projects takeaway reminders is that individuals come in all sizes and shapes. Our life journeys are also anything however “direct”, she says: “We dont simply keep turning the page, getting somewhat older and better and moving towards the end point. Life is various for everyone.”.

Kindness, happiness, friendship, hurt, strength, loss: Hackney-based professional photographer Jenny Lewis met the complete range of human feelings and life experiences during her newest project.

As she notes: “Its unbelievable how generous individuals are with their time and their stories. I d come back from shoots feeling I d took a crack at of adrenaline.”

One Hundred Years: Portraits of a community aged 0– 100 is released by Hoxton Mini Press.

The short bios that accompany each image (click on the gallery listed below to read them) prove Lewis to be a gifted listener as well as professional photographer. Individuals open up, she says.

Ive got a past alright. I married a gangster, he believed he was Humphrey Bogart, states 100-year-old Renee

Hundreds of photos. All for one, single, spirit-lifting, hope-giving celebration of life in all its fullness.

Photography by Jenny Lewis.

Her approach owed more to serendipity than science. A handful of her subjects she satisfied through pals. A couple of were sent her method (the mayor of Hackney helped with a call-out on Twitter). But a lot of Lewis just ran into while out and about.

Ordinary, of course, is a misnomer. Among the tasks takeaway suggestions is that people been available in all sizes and shapes. There is no common Hackney citizen. Everybody is wondrously, welcomingly, wantonly different, Lewis notes..

Her colourful cast is partly statement to Hackneys intrinsic variety: every race, colour, gender and, obviously, age, is on show. Its also a reflection of her creative eye, which, as the photographs affirm, draws out the odd from the regular.

Numerous photos. 4 years of work. 3 different lockdowns. All for one, single, spirit-lifting, hope-giving event of life in all its fullness.

It is easy to “sort of forget” how amazing individuals are, Lewis observes ruefully: “They are all just my neighbours– it shows you do not require to look very far to be influenced by people.”.

The preliminary idea was simple: to picture one hundred individuals aged one to a hundred. Apart from their age, the just other specification was that they lived in the very same east London district as her.

Our life journeys are also anything but “linear”, she says: “We dont simply keep turning the page, getting slightly older and wiser and moving towards completion point. Its, well, rather troubled. There is no: do it by doing this which will occur. Life is various for everyone.”.

About the author