Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Exhibition: Outsiders In London @smitf_london

Daily Constitutional Special Correspondent David Tucker writes…

Literature, says C.S. Lewis, “admits us to experiences other than our own.”

Goes on to say, “the man who is contented to be only himself, and therefore less a self, is in prison. My own eyes are not enough for me, I will see through those of others.”

Forty others in the case of Outsiders in London, the small-but-guaranteed-to-stop-you-in-your-tracks photo exhibition in the Crypt at St. Martin in the Fields, the old church in Trafalgar Square.

Without naming names, there are quite a few big ticket affairs in London right now I’d give a miss to if I had to choose between seeing them and spending an hour or so in that makeshift little gallery getting to know those 40 Londoners.

It’s a potent combination. Those faces. Their stories. That arrow-in-the-heart subtitle: ARE YOU ONE, TOO?

And that’s not to mention the virtuosity of the image making. Camera shamra. We’re not in the realm of cameradom here. Those 40 portraits are masterpieces. We’re not just seeing 40 London outsiders – seeing right into them. We’re seeing  what they see. Seeing with their eyes.

It’s a stunning achievement. Those images are beautiful. They’re humbling. They’re provocative.

Their creator – the photographer – is Milan Svanderlik. And, yes, if you insist, he’s Croatian, knows whereof he photographs by virtue of being an “outsider” himself.

That’s paint-by-numbers criticism. On a par with the ho hum inducement: there are a couple of famous faces hanging up there. Svanderlik’s work – this exhibition – deserves better. It deserves you doing it the justice and doing yourself the favour of making sure you don’t miss it. And you don’t have much time – it closes on May 8.

Below, a couple of photographs of photographs, and a (for lack of a better word) vignette.

Outsiders In London: Are You One Too? runs to 8th May 2015, Cafe in The Crypt at St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square

A London Walk costs £10 – £8 concession. To join a London Walk, simply meet your guide at the designated tube station at the appointed time. Details of all London Walks can be found at

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1 comment:

  1. A small correction of fact : The photographer is not Croatian - he is actually Bohemian ( born in Czechoslovakia to Czech parents). He did live in Croatia at one stage and he was partly educated in Croatia - part of Yugoslavia.