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3 May 2016
The Museum of London is opening a new photography display showing the works of London-based photographer, Dick Scott-Stewart, it was announced today.
‘Stomping Grounds’ captures London’s eclectic social scene in the late 1970s and early 1980s. From New Romantics at the famous Blitz club in Covent Garden and Rockabillies in Elephant and Castle to wrestling matches at Battersea Arts Centre and punks on the Kings Road – life in London is reflected through its ‘scenes’ and subcultures.
Despite being a freelance photographer for over 30 years Scott-Stewart’s work is relatively unknown. This exhibition brings to light 38 photographs alongside ephemera to reveal some of his best personal projects at that time.
Anna Sparham, Curator of Photographs at the Museum of London, said:
“Dick Scott-Stewart was an accomplished professional photographer who mastered the challenges of black and white film image-making. These images offer a fascinating glimpse into different social groups during the late 70s and post-punk era in London. He held great respect for his subjects, recognising and identifying with people on the periphery and his images collectively present a real sense of identity and belonging. Thanks to the generous donation from the Dick Scott-Stewart Archive, the Museum of London is able to display this body of work that reflects his striking style and recognises his worthy contribution to British photography.”
Mog Scott-Stewart, said:
“Dick's work is part of the bigger 18th and 19th century photographic project of humanising London and the people who live here. I am extremely grateful for the support and recognition the Museum of London has given to Dick's work over the last fifteen years, and now for this marvellous exhibition."
Drawing his inspiration from some of the great European and American black and white photographers, Scott-Stewart’s style demonstrated impressive skill involving high contrast and vivid use of light and dark to create his own distinctive style.
Reflecting on his photographs of youth subculture, Scott-Stewart said the subjects showed ‘a withdrawal from and opposition to the realities of the present, escaping…into their music, their dress style, their meeting places.’ This escapism and sense of belonging is evident throughout the photographs shown.
During his photographic career, Scott-Stewart published a book Fairground Snaps, in 1974, exhibited nationally and internationally and had work feature regularly in leading newspapers and magazines. Sadly, Scott-Stewart died from cancer in 2002, aged just 54. He was photographing until the end.
Stomping Grounds forms part of a run of displays at the Museum of London that explore London’s subcultures including everything from tattoos to punks and post-punk scenes across the capital.
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Dick Scott-Stewart was born in the Cotswold village of Painswick in 1948, the son of a doctor and a nurse. He lived in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, where he was head boy at St Kenelm’s School, Cheltenham, later attending Epsom College in Surrey. After moving to London he studied photography at the London College of Printing and worked as a freelance photographer thereafter. His work was published and exhibited internationally.
After his death in 2002, the Dick Scott-Stewart Archive was created, a permanent testimony to both the sweeping scope and the consistent consciousness of Scott-Stewart’s photographic eye. http://dickscottstewart.com/