The Brighton-based photographer is exhibiting a collection of photos from UK garage’s golden era.
Hailing from Newcastle, the Brighton photographer Ewen Spencer has dedicated much of his career to documenting youth and subculture. As well as working for publications such as The Face and Sleazenation, he has produced film and photography work for the likes of Massive Attack, The White Stripes and The Streets, and is also a noted documentarist of the grime and garage scenes of the late 90’s and early 2000’s – the subject of his next exhibition ‘Brandy & Coke?’.
The exhibition showcases Spencer’s photographs from 1998-2001, giving a front row look into the world of music, money and Moschino that was the UK speed garage scene. Spencer describes his take on the era in an interview with The Guardian: “I was a mod before I became a photographer and have always wished I’d been able to capture that era. So I was keen to document UK garage, which was very much about showing off, looking sharp and appearing to be moneyed. I think those are the defining characteristics of British youth culture: the idea that, whatever your circumstances, you are perceived to be doing well and living for the weekend. It was great to photograph: people would hire expensive fancy cars just to pull up outside the club, or dress from head to toe in Moschino.”
The event launched last night with a party at Brighton’s Create Studios, featuring DJ sets from Mike Skinner and legendary garage producer Mike Millrain. The exhibition is free and continues until 26th April – head to the Create Studios website for more info and opening times, and check a small selection of photos from ‘Brandy & Coke?’ below.
Twice As Nice – Colosseum, Vauxhall, 1998.
Rave – Old Kent Road, London, 1999
Twice As Nice – Colosseum, Vauxhall, 1999
All images copyright Ewen Spencer.