Post-Brexit, It’s a Perfect Time to Look Back at David Bailey’s Lost London, Where He Once Romped with Jean Shrimpton

NW1 177 267 Aerated Bread Company's Shop 1981 low res.jpg

Long before Brexit and Damien Hirst dreamed of moving in, let alone installing a multimillion-dollar underground swimming pool and yoga room, the northwestern reaches of London were home to the photographer David Bailey, his then-partner Jean Shrimpton, and what began to become a diminishing number of working-class Brits. That’s how Bailey, who’d been mainly photographing Swinging London, decided to turn his camera to something decidedly less glamorous: the crumbled buildings and shuttered cinemas lining the streets of neighborhoods like Camden and Primrose Hill, whose economic downturn he documented for NW1, a time capsule of sorts released in 1982. If the series was nostalgic then, though, it’s nothing compared to the trip down memory lane it is now, with its first-ever rerelease and exhibition through HENI Publishing and its accompanying Soho gallery.

David Bailey, “NW1”

“Buck Street,” 1981.

David Bailey, “NW1”

“St Pancras Station from Euston Road,” 1981.

David Bailey, “NW1”

“Manley Street,” 1982.

David Bailey, “NW1”

“Regent’s Canal,” 1982.

David Bailey, “NW1”

“Aerated Bread Company’s Shop,” 1981.

David Bailey, “NW1”

“Primrose Hill,” 1981.

David Bailey, “NW1”

“Elephant House, London Zoo,” 1981.