Richard Miller-A Portrait of Southwark and Bermondsey

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22nd July 2017 @ 10:00 – 18:00 Europe/London Timezone
Southwark Cathedral
London Bridge
London SE1 9DA
Rose Harding
020 7367 6704

A Portrait of Southwark and Bermondsey

A Portrait of Southwark and Bermondsey is a series of photos and art  by Richard Miller being exhibited at the Refectory, Southwark Cathedral from 22 July to 1 September 2017

Originally from Beckenham Kent, I studied Fine Art, (film video and sound) at Maidstone College of Art in the early 1980’s, making a range of abstract, animated and experimental films. In 1988, I moved to Bermondsey Street and shot the first of several videos of the area just a week after arriving.

Much of what I saw was in decay and many buildings were no longer fit for their original purpose, yet each had a story to tell in a way that no new building can. At weekends, the area was all but silent, except for the exchange of tennis balls being hit across the nets in Tanner Street Park. On occasion, I took great pleasure walking the full length of Bermondsey Street in the middle of the road without passing a soul or of risk at being run down.

In 1997, I began what turned into a 15 year study of family research which surprisingly led me back to Bermondsey Street in the 1830’s. I’d been walking in the steps of my ancestors, but hadn’t known it. This gave me another perspective of the area and in 2012, I decided to begin a new record, this time using a stills camera.

Change since my first videos has been considerable, particularly so around London Bridge, with the building of The Shard and redevelopment of London Bridge Station. Renewal was inevitable at some point and much has been an improvement. However, with virtually the whole of the area south of the river Thames now a development zone, the rush to demolish and build is gathering pace. For many, including me, it is getting out of control and all too often for no benefit of the people living there.

Inspiration for my 2012 project came from the Society for Photographing Relics of Old London, a group of Victorian photographers who undertook to record buildings at risk and places earmarked for redevelopment in the 1880’s. The best of their work for me includes the faces of Londoners, often staring out at us from the past, via the photographic plate that captured the image. The society’s work is instructive in more ways than one, as it serves to remind us that London has seen the wholesale development of large areas before, often driven by the expansion of the railways. Ironic perhaps, given the changes in the London Bridge area.

Southwark Cathedral

Southwark Cathedral Logo

In addition to the normal round of daily services, the Cathedral is a popular venue for concerts, graduation ceremonies and special services of all kinds – consecrations, memorials, celebrations, school and college services and carol, services. There are also regular organ recitals on Monday lunchtimes and recitals on Tuesday afternoons.

Visit Southwark Cathedral Calendar online which contains full details of forthcoming service, concerts and events. If you are interested in arranging a concert or special service contact Rose Harding on 020 7367 6704 or email

  Visit Southwark Cathedral What’s On calendar here



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