Some people spend the first four hours of their day wondering what to eat for lunch, but for those of us fortunate enough to work in certain areas of London, lunchtimes are about a lot more than just food.
I recently started working in Soho and have been spending my lunches exploring little galleries, eating great market food and occasionally even going to the gym. This month my favourite lunch time excursion has been to the new and improved Photographers’ Gallery.
The Photographers’ Gallery, the largest gallery in London dedicated to photography, has recently re-opened its doors after an 18-month refurbishment, it was a long wait but worth it. The gallery now extends over five floors and benefits from increased natural light throughout, making for a much more pleasurable gallery experience.
One recent lunchtime, I went down to visit the new gallery’s inaugural exhibition, Edward Burtynsky’s Oil – a collection of powerful images chronicling the effect of oil on all of our lives. The collection is divided in to three sections, Extraction and Refinement, Transportation and Motor Culture and The End of Oil. The images range from humorous (see the Kiss Concert Parking Area) to haunting, and are well worth the visit.
If you head down to the gallery during a Friday lunch hour you can also catch one of their ‘My Favourite Photo’ talks, which see professionals and enthusiasts talk about a photograph that means something to them.
Oh and don’t forget to grab a quick bite to eat (it is lunchtime after all) in the ground floor café, where the food is provided by Soho Italian Delicatessen Lina Stores.
If being behind the camera is more your thing, there’s few greater places to take photos than around Soho. Whether it’s fashion shots of Golden Square lunchers or food stalls at Berwick Street Market, there’s no shortage of interesting subjects.
And if you haven’t made the move from digital to analogue yet, it’s time to head down to the Lomography Gallery Store on Newburgh Street. Pick yourself up a camera and some film and get snapping.
Go. Make the most of your lunchtimes!
Edward Burtynsky’s Oil is at The Photographers’ Gallery until 1st July.
The Lomography Gallery Store can be found at 3 Newburgh Street, London W1F 7RE.