MISSING BUILDINGS PRESS PACK
Thom and Beth Atkinson's first photobook, Missing Buildings, was published on 8th October 2015, marking the 75th anniversary year of the London Blitz.
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Marking 75 years since the outbreak of the Blitz, Thom and Beth Atkinson's first photobook, Missing Buildings, seeks to preserve the physical and psychological landscapes of the Second World War in London.
Over a million of London’s buildings were destroyed or damaged by bombing between 1940 and 1945. From the mysterious gap in a suburban terrace, to the incongruous post-war inner city estate, Missing Buildings reveals London as a vast archeological site, bearing the visible scars of its violent wartime past. But this book is more than a simple record of bombsites; to the artists' generation, the war is the distant story of an epic battle, passed down to them through books, images and grandparents' memories.
Blurring fact and fiction, Missing Buildings searches for this mythology, revealing
strange apparitions of the past as they resurface in the architecture of the modern-day city. Missing Buildings asks us to contemplate the effects of war upon the British psyche and suggests that the power wrought on our imaginations by the Blitz is a legacy as profound as the physical damage it caused.
Made on a series of walks over six years, Missing Buildings presents forty two large format photographs in an edition of 600, with a new afterword by
writer David Chandler.
Missing Buildings Standard Edition Book
Edition of 600
With an Afterword by David Chandler
Printing: Full colour offset with spot machine varnish
Binding: Debossed hardcover in Havanna
Trim Size: W 245 x H 285mm
Extent: 96 pages
Plates: 42 colour
Production of Missing Buildings was funded by pre-orders of a Limited Edition book. The list of subscribers includes Martin Parr, Rachel Whiteread, Mark Power, Jem Southam, Anna Fox, National Art Library, National Media Museum and Museum of London. See the full subscribers list here.
The Missing Buildings Standard Edition book is now available from the Hwæt Books online shop as well as other stockists.
praise for missing buildings
Often, the best ideas are also the simplest... For this is a true ‘photographic’ project, better made with still pictures than any other medium, and with a clearly defined, evocative subject matter.
‘Missing Buildings’ has the directness of all the best photography. As a born Londoner I feel it encapsulates something I have experienced subconsciously all my life and put it into images. I was brought up in a street in Paddington with spaces where houses had been bombed. By focusing on what’s not there, Beth and Thom Atkinson have found a profound way to make images that depict what is there, the remains of a terrible war.
Growing up in Britain in the 1950's meant journeying through cities still full of bomb craters, piles of rubble, vacant lots and the fascinating spectacle of homes sheered off along one end. Wallpapers, doorways, fireplaces were all exposed and added a surreal and almost decorative element to the urban environment. That so many such sites may still exist has been brought home to me recently by the brilliant typological series sought out and photographed by Thom and Beth Atkinson.
One of the most eagerly awaited books of 2015.
About the artists
Thom and Beth Atkinson are brother and sister. They grew up together in the Midlands and are currently based in London.
Beth, b. 1984, received her MA in Photography from the Royal College of Art in 2013. She has exhibited internationally, including shows across the UK, Ireland, Russia, Canada and the USA. Prizes and commissions include the Villiers David Award, the Flint House Commission and a recent project with Art on the Underground. Beth runs the youth programme at the Horniman Museum.
Thom, b. 1981, is a professional still life and portrait photographer. His work has been published by various magazines including Telegraph Magazine, Financial Times Weekend Magazine and Draft. He has worked on projects with the Wellcome Trust, the Natural History Museum and the British Army. Thom studied MA Photography and the Land at Plymouth University, graduating in 2013.