Resident photographer, Steve Carty, has been travelling in search of bicycle culture he can tap into. He recently travelled to London, England, and met up with fellow bike-enthusiasts and business owners, aiming to infiltrate the London Fixedgear scene, and make impressions with bike-centred photography. We sat down with him to find out a little more about his adventures in London.
Why were you in London and why did you choose to go there?
I first went to London in early 2012, pre olympics to shoot jury members for the 50th annual D&AD awards annual published by Taschen. I worked hard during that first trip there and didn’t get to see many areas of London. It was a 2 week trip that felt like 2 days. I’ve been back twice since and on both occasions hooked up with friends at Bricklane Bikes (BLB).
What did you want to accomplish while you were there?
I always have a mission when I go to London. This last time, the mission was to infiltrate the London Fixedgear scene, and make an impression with some strong photography and video footage. I went to the source, East London, and got some amazing images for my upcoming Life Cycles show.
Most memorable moment in London?
Best moments in London so far are still my first trip there, shooting David Droga, founder of Droga5 for the D&AD annual and the cover of Adformatie Magazine, Amsterdam.
Most memorable ride & route?
Riding on the wrong side of the road really fast, on a very brand new Fixedwheel bicycle my LaPiovra, hanging with some great new friends filming and shooting pictures on route to Buckingham Palace. The portraits of people and their bicycles in the courtyard at the Palace and using street art as backgrounds in East London made for some inspirational scenes.
Now that you’ve been to London a couple times, where’s your favourite place to grab a pint? What’s your favourite thing to eat?
Best fun for pints is the Well and Bucket on Bethnal Green. And the best things to eat are egg sandwiches at Burnt Toast Cafe in Brixton Market and coffee from Brick Lane Coffee.
Tell us about your relationship with Brick Lane Bikes
Earlier in 2013 they [Brick Lane Bikes] had a collection of fixed-gear clothing in H&M stores worldwide. I had never heard of Bricklane Bikes before that collaboration and I felt it was necessary to go see that shop and meet the owners, and offer up my services so to speak. The relationship I build back in November was the main reason why I was there again this past February.
The staff over at BLB organized 2 weekends of sessions for me, which was at least 25 people, that I photographed around London with their bicycles. This really was an amazing experience for me. It was my first time riding bikes in London and the work that I’m coming home with is some that I’m really proud of.
Can you give us a little taste of what we can expect with Life Cycles?
Life Cycles is a celebration of the bicycle and the people who ride them. It’s always been that. This year I’m taking the portraits of people and their bicycle onto a world stage. Previous years have been images from Toronto. This year, I’ve taken my camera an my bicycle on the road showcasing people from other metropolitan centres, showing the universal love that people have with the worlds best invention. This exhibit will first be shown here in Toronto, in June as part of the NXNE festival, and then in Chicago in August and London in September.
See some of Steve Carty’s fixed gear shots here.
Stay tuned to the upcoming NXNE ART lineup to catch Life Cycles in June.