An exhibition of photographs by acclaimed photographer Chris Schwarz opens at three Lewisham venues — The Albany, Lewisham Library and Lewisham College — in March 2014. The images record Lewisham and Deptford in the 1970s and 1980s and the work of The Combination Theatre Company, and were taken by Chris when he was photographer in residence at The Albany.
Chris Schwarz was a professional photographer who worked for the Guardian, Time Out and other publications. His work was exhibited at the Photographers Gallery in London and overseas, and published in several books. He also founded the Galicia Jewish Museum in Krakow, Poland. Chris died in 2007 and bequeathed his collection of over 8,000 photographs to The Art of Regeneration, a creative regeneration project that was at one time based at the Albany.
The photographs form an invaluable record of life in North Lewisham in the 1970s and 1980s and show children, young people and their families participating in cultural and creative activities. Highlights include images of totters, Millwall Football Club fans, adults at work and performances by the Albany’s resident theatre company The Combination. They include images of the old Albany that was located at the junction of Creek Road and Deptford Church Street, the New Albany in Douglas Way and its opening by the late Princess Diana in 1980.There will be special storytelling performances at each venue by members of The Deptford Stories Theatre Company, who will interpret selected photographs. Their performances will be based on oral history interviews that have been conducted between 2011 and the present. The performances take place as shown below:
After the exhibition the photographs, along with the rest of the collection of the Deptford and Lewisham work of Chris Schwarz, will be stored by the London Metropolitan Archives and will be available to the public to download.
The Deptford Stories Theatre Company was founded by director John Turner and Jenny Harris. Jenny was the creative producer with a lifetime of creative production in theatre, education and community arts development including the Combination at the Albany, The Education department at the National Theatre and the Art of Regeneration.
“Every Picture Tells a Story” was Jenny’s last production for the Art of Regeneration and the Deptford Stories Company. Jenny herself died before she could see this production or hear the stories that the Deptford Stories Company will tell; this is a chance for the public to witness her final production.