Exhibition: One Hundred Years – Jenny Lewis


1 Mar 22

Over the course of three years, from 2018 to 2021, portrait photographer and Hackney resident Jenny Lewis documented a century of life in the form of 100 tender portraits, her subjects ranging from a new-born to a centenarian. Reflecting and celebrating the many nationalities, identities, genders, ages and perspectives that make up this diverse pocket of London, Lewis’s honest and compelling portraits – of refugees and retirees, adolescents and allotmenteers, aspiring and failed rock stars, alongside pigeon racers, jewellers, cobblers, barbers, new mothers, brothers, sons and daughters – present 100 unique lives and their personal stories.

Tracking down her subjects in youth groups, yoga classes, residential homes, sports clubs, and neighbours, as well as on Instagram, in local GP surgeries, by word of mouth, Lewis has created a powerful collective portrait of both our past and future. Her vibrantly coloured portraits, taken in intimate domestic spaces or places that hold personal significance for the sitter, portray her subjects staring gently and at times defiantly into the camera.  

The cumulative effect of Lewis’s encyclopaedic project is commemorative and intensely emotive, capturing lives in the process of being lived while underscoring our own mortality. As Lewis has said: ‘I’ve always thought the ordinary is pretty extraordinary, I hope the series will encourage people to take notice of who is around them, to give people time to appreciate the resilience and richness of the human experience.’

The series can be seen in full as a book published by Hoxton Mini Press.