Paul Baldesare   Peter Marshall   Mike Seaborne


Suburban High Streets




Greater London is (or was) a collection of villages and one of the defining characteristics of this – now essentially suburban – landscape is the presence of a high street surrounded by houses. Often, this is a development of the original village centre and sometimes the growth has been so great that a whole new town has arisen in its place. Such towns and villages have an identity quite separate from that of the ‘London’ of which they are nominally a part.

This is not a process which has occurred overnight and the modern suburban landscape is a veritable mixture of buildings, structures and open spaces dating from medieval times to the present day. The charm of many parts of London owes much to the lack of any serious attempt at large-scale urban planning.

In this series of photographs I am looking at the suburban landscape ‘in the round’ using the wide sweep of the panoramic camera to show how the different landscape elements relate together. Many of the photographs are taken from the top of double-decker buses as they pass through.

This is a London-wide project but with an emphasis on southwest London, in particular the Royal Borough of Kingston-upon-Thames.

Mike Seaborne