Last night, I had the pleasure and privilege to attend a private viewing of a photography exhibition entitled “Living London: Everyday Exploration”. This exhibition has been put together by up and coming London based photographer Saira Niazi, who has made it her mission to see London through a fresh pair of eyes.
The exhibition took place at a “somewhereto” space in Central London. A space sponsored by the Lottery to provide an opportunity for young creative minds to exhibit and share their talents. Saira has been documenting her adventure through the lens of a camera.
This project has been a labour of love for the past 3 years. The idea of exploration and adventure has always been intriguing. However, one tends to associate such words with travel rather than going on a journey in one’s own back yard. With her camera in hand, Saira has let loose across the city revisiting familiar spaces as well as stumbling upon never before seen areas. One photo at a time, Saira has been able to depict London in a new and unfamiliar light, as opposed to the tourist destination, making it far more accessible and creating a sense of familiarity and homeliness with every shot.
Over the course of the project Saira has striven to shed some light on the lesser-known corners of London and its outskirts bringing hidden gems to light through photographs.
That is not where it ends, however. To add another layer to the adventure, Saira has not only pointed out where to find the several hundreds of the lesser known places around one of the most well-known cities of the world, she also reveals their affect and impact on her as a viewer or an “intruder” to the space through language. Each of these places and their depictions have spoken to her in a way that is unique to her. Each photo is paired with a piece of her own writing, be it poetry or a snippet of a journal entry, revealing to the viewer her thoughts, perceptions and feelings that she had experienced while on her scavenger hunt around the city.
Saira Niazi is a very active explorer of the city who is continuously posting her new finds through her lens on her website. To view her work (both archived and most recent) follow the links below.