30 JUNE - 2 SEPTEMBER 2023

Conditions of Living: Home and Homelessness in London’s East End

Monty Meth. Two men look over a slum clearance operation on top of a building in Poplar, London, 19 April 1951. © Monty Meth/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images/Hulton Archive

Images of housing, homelessness and resistance in London’s East End

Gallery hours: free admission
Tuesday to Saturday 11am – 6pm, Thursday 11am – 8pm (July and on 31 Aug)

Our summer exhibition explores how photographers have represented conditions of housing and homelessness for over a century. From workhouses to slums, damp council flats to Thatcherite gentrification, images reveal the systemic poverty that East Londoners have endured and how the medium of photography has been used to campaign for change.

We are delighted to feature new artwork by Anthony Luvera, which addresses economic segregation in Tower Hamlets' housing developments, a phenomenon known as ‘poor doors’. Created with a forum of local residents, this examines the rise of market-driven ‘affordable’ housing and the state of social housing today. 


Thurs 13 July, 7pm. Curator's talk.

Sat 15 July, 11.30 – 2pm. Public and social housing in the East End from the late 19th century, walk with Mike Berlin. Book here

Tues 18 July, 6.30 – 7.30pm. Artists talk with Anthony LuveraBook here

Thurs 27 July, 6.30 – 8pm. From the Nichol to the Boundary: how London’s first planned council estate came to be built, talk by Sarah Wise. Watch here

Thurs 31 Aug, 6.30pm – 8pm. Struggles for better housing and the Stepney Rent Strikes 1937-39, talk by David Rosenberg, followed by screening of short films. Book here

Fri 1 Sept, 10.30 - 1pm. Conditions of Living: long table discussion. This event brings together speakers engaged in issues surrounding housing precarity, economic segregation, market-driven ‘affordable’ homes and social housing today. Book here


The Guardian

Spitalfields Life

Cent Magazine

Photographers: the exhibition features work by Katalin Arkell, Peter Arkell, Cyril Arapoff, Chris Bethell, A.R. Coster, Firmin, John Galt, David Granick, Bert Hardy, Brian Harris, Hawkins, Nick Hedges, David Hoffman, Tom Learmonth, Steve Lewis, Jack London, Marketa Luskacova, Anthony Luvera, MacGregor, Monty Meth, Douglas Miller, Moyra Peralta, Ray Rising, Reg Sayers, Andrew Scott, Alex Slotzkin, Norah Smyth, Humphrey Spender, Andrew Testa, Paul Trevor, Edith Tudor-Hart, as well as several unknown photographers.

This exhibition is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund. We particularly thank Getty Images Hulton Archive and Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives for their generous contributions which made this exhibition possible. We are grateful for the kind support of Report Digital.

“The very embodiment of city living in the 21st century”. New Holland Estate, Spitalfields, London. From Conditions of Living (2022 – 2023) by Anthony Luvera