Alina Cojocaru. Portrait commission for Dance Gazette magazine.
       
     
 Commissioned portrait session for the National Theatre.
       
     
 M was a friend of mine. He was also a friend to many and a colourful character who lived and worked in Portobello Market. M loved antiques and curiosities which he would often find in skips. He'd up cycle and resell them in the market on Sundays. He once found a Biedermeier desk which had been turfed into a skip outside a grand old house. He talked to me about how he really wanted to learn the art of Taxidermy and stuff some of the dead cats he would find in the West London streets. Life got in the way of M and his dreams and expectations. I think the mundanity of the everyday eluded him, the 'norm' was a stranger, he sought the unusual and rejected the standard. For this reason he would struggle with staying on the road to recovery from addiction. I was told that M died abroad whilst trying a radical treatment for withdrawal. Our mutual friend asked me to photograph his flat as he left it; I saw within those four walls the remnants of a man's character, an insight into his taste and the traces of M's last torment.  CM 2015
       
     
 Soho Phoneboxes. Soho was a place London could be proud of. Home to specialist book shops, independent music shops, family run deli's and the famous Central Saint Martin's Art School. In the centre lay Britain's film production industry alongside sleazy titty bars and London's rag trade. In 2009, building of the new Crossrail system started and this saw the famous gig venue The Astoria demolished and slowly but surely the commercial rents increased. The independent businesses started to suffer, the ease of the corporate coffee bar started to invade like a viral infection, the bohemian edge to our Soho has been replaced by a pseudo hipster dilettantism exploited by chain stores and 'trendy' ad agencies. These photographs are not merely evidence of an inner city clean up, but more of a metaphor of what has become of some of our most precious and existing aspects of inner cities. The corporatising of life has been something that has insidiously happened; beyond our control since the boom of Apple, Starbucks and beyond. We can't control that nor can we stop it; but what we can try to do is fight for the individualism of the lone trader, artist, musician and resident. Our cities are living histories of such people so we can only hope that the 'cleaning up' of them doesn't wipe out what makes us original.   CM 2015