Kensal Green Cemetery plays host to photographic exhibition

PUBLISHED: 16:53 05 June 2013 | UPDATED: 14:55 09 July 2019

Paddy Barstow and a colleague from New Artists, who have curated the show. Picture: Sean Smith

Paddy Barstow and a colleague from New Artists, who have curated the show. Picture: Sean Smith


‘New Artists’ will be bringing Sean Smith’s work to the Dissenter Chapel

An organisation which displays the work of emerging artists in unusual locations will be transforming a crypt in one of London's most famous cemeteries.

New Artists will be bringing photographer Sean Smith's work to the Dissenters' Chapel in Kensal Green Cemetery.

Smith has become internationally recognised for his uncompromising images of conflict and war during his 25 years as a staff photographer for national newspaper The Guardian.

However, New Artists has chosen to focus on the images that are much less familiar to the public.

On the margins, which opened last week, shows glimpses of marginalised people, such as drug addicts and prostitutes, caught up in "war zones" within themselves.


"I'm interested in people on the edge of society", said the photographer. "They are usually either unrepresented or misrepresented.

"It seems to me that they often have more to say about themselves and the rest of us than the commentators we usually hear from".

This, the first commercial exhibition of Smith's photo-graphy, is on display in a new location for the New Artists, which was formed in 2011.

The Dissenter's Chapel was completed in 1837 to serve the seven-acre dissenters' section at the eastern end of the cemetery.

Dissenters were non-conformist Methodists, Unitarians, Tractarians and members of other Christian denominations who dissented from the established Church of England.

However, it fell into disuse after suffering damage during the Second World War and was left to crumble.

Finally, funds were raised from a number of sources, including the Heritage Lottery Fund, to restore the building and provide it with new facilities.

In a statement, the founders of New Artists said: "We feel art should be found not only in museums, galleries and wealthy homes but also in unorthodox and evocative spaces."

On the margins can be seen at Catacomb Z at Kensal Green Cemetery, Ladbroke Grove. The exhibition is open from 10am to 8pm until Wednesday, June 26.

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