Hollywoodland started life as an antidote. A direct and contrary response to social media. As a photographer I was constantly being encouraged to market and brand myself. I have always disliked being sold-to, and I never enjoy feeling manipulated by the market, this work was my response. No agenda, no end- game, no artifice, just pictures of what was right in front of me.

It was also a means for me to practice photography in an entirely spontaneous way.

I have always photographed my environment, always tried to capture the here and now but this was a different way of working. I set myself  three rules, shoot only on my phone, don’t try too hard and don’t judge the results.

It was visual graffiti, fast and immediate. It was also a daily practice that kept my eyes engaged and on the move.

What started as something made without specific intention has grown into a body of work that captures the city of  Los Angeles over a period of twenty years. Even after living here for as long as I have I still feel like a visitor, I still feel temporary, I am still surprised, shocked and sometimes delighted.  Hollywoodland is a  portrait of the place that I have called home for a little over two decades.

When I point a lens at anything I am always more interested in the imperfections. I am always more interested in the actual than in any  fiction. LA, a city where the streets are supposedly  paved with gold has  both extremes in abundance. This collection of diptychs, these small visual poems, are a unique insight into the city of angels….and little devils

by Bryony Shearmur

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