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COMMUNITY MAKERS: GARY VAN HANDLEY

PHOTOGRAPHER, EAST LONDON

In conversation with: Gary Van Handley

Around here, it feels like there’s an opportunity on every street, around every corner.

When I originally moved to London, I wanted to reinvent myself and become the photographer I always wanted to be. One of the first people I met in East London was a lady called Dot. She owned Purple Shop on Redchurch Street and told me, ‘if you’re going to create anything, you’ll do it in Shoreditch. If you’re a people person and you love making new friends, mix that with some ambition and some sort of skill, you can grow here and be whomever you want.

’Shoreditch is an area where I both live and work. It’s an interesting place that feels a bit more like a community campus than a borough. It’s a place where, if I walk around the corner and say hello to someone I know, it’s highly likely that I’ve also worked with them. With every job, I feel like I make a new friend, and it’s this sense of being part of a creative community that makes Shoreditch a hub that I always want to come back to.

You can find more of Gary’s work here