"In 2008, photographer Adam Patterson began a new project documenting gangland culture in South London. His aim was to convey some of the reality behind the menacing, macho picture of gangs showcased in the media, and in order to do this he spent over a year with gang members, capturing the vulnerability and humanity that the general public rarely see. As Fiona Hamilton reported in The Times in March 2010, “His work offers insight into the daily grind for gang members, or simply errant youths, living on council estates dotted around South London.”
During this time, Patterson became close to a 19-year old gang member who called himself Vipoh. Having recently been the victim of a stabbing as well as witnessing the stabbing of his cousin, he was keen to find a way out of gang life. His passion being music, he asked Adam to take pictures for his MySpace page and soon began using the photographer as an excuse to avoid old friends. The two spent almost every day together for a period of 6 months, collaborating on Patterson’s photographic project, Another Lost Child. Vipoh, whose birth name is Jean Claude, began to withdraw from involvement in his gang and tried to stop getting involved in fights. He enrolled on a college course and began mentoring other youths in the music studio where he worked. Long after the project was completed Jean Claude was accepted onto a photography course at Photofusion and began producing his own work. On completion of this course he relocated to Doncaster to live with his girlfriend.
Recognising that their collaboration wasn’t finished, Patterson continued to document aspects of change in Jean Claude’s life in Doncaster which is shown with some of the images from the original 2008 series. This new work is a significant addition to Another Lost Child; instead of masking over his previous life, the new photographs highlight the journey and transition that has taken place, suggesting that such changes are an important aspect of many young people’s lives. This new work touches on the difficulty of leaving the life you know behind and fighting familiar temptation that can often bring the most harrowing of consequences.
It is with great pleasure that this work comes to Photofusion; a gallery in the heart of Brixton which hosts its own outreach programmes to support young people. In addition to Adam Patterson’s work, Jean Claude will be exhibiting his own photographs and texts to support the exhibition, and there will be a catalogue to accompany the show.
Adam Patterson completed an MA in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at London College of Communication in 2008. His work has been exhibited at the Noorderlicht Photofestival 2009, the Royal Photographic Society and Foto8’s Summershow 2010, as well as being published in newspapers and magazines such as The Sunday Times, The Independent and Vice. He recently travelled to Chile to work on the BBC Panorama documentary that covered the rescue of 33 miners and is currently based in Northern Ireland working locally on a long-term project."
The exhibition runs until March 25th at
17a Electric Lane