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Steve Hollingshead’s Event exhibition

Southwark-based Steve Hollingshead's latest exhibition of black and white photographs is devoted to London's annual customs and festivals.

Steve Hollingshead’s Event exhibition
The City of London Jack in the Green crosses London Bridge on on May Day (courtesy Steve Hollingshead)

This is a delightful record of events which sometimes receive little publicity. Indeed some participants don't care whether there is an audience. It is however encouraging to find that many take place in the very heart of the capital. Steve has had to be up early, hang about, come back for a second year and overcome the frustration of arbitary security cordons to obtain these images.

On Bankside he records the Town Crier welcoming the Holly Man arriving by water on Twelfth Night and, behind Southwark Cathedral, a giant dragon leading St George's Day revellers. On May Day he finds the Jack-in-the-Green running across London Bridge. In July he is on Westminster Bridge as Doggett's Coat & Badge Race comes upstream and he is back there at dawn in November as the London-Brighton veteran car run passes over the river.

He reminds us that Southwark hosts a Turkish festival, the Swedish midsummer celebrations and the capital's Norwegian National Day party.

Elsewhere, there is a clown-priest Roly Bain processing with his feather duster at the annual Grimaldi church service, a fish harvest festival in another church, Shrove Tuesday pancake races, Italians bringing a hill-town procession to Clerkenwell and cattle on the Southall streets for Diwali.

Here are London's residents devotedly maintaining authentic customs which are part of the non-commercial rhythm of the year. Some shots are amusing and some are amazing.

• Event is at The Spitz Gallery, 109 Commercial Street E1; 12 noon-5pm (Sun 11am-5pm) until Sunday 23 September; admission free.

Just arrived from the printers and available at the gallery is Steve Hollingshead's book 'Event: A celebration of London's rituals, festivities and eccentricies' (£12.99) which includes some of the photographs in the exhibition as well as new pictures. The text is by Steve Hollingshead and Kathryn Serkis. Included is a unique capital events web directory.

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