In September 2019 I contacted Tooting Market in hope to take portraits of the traders and to celebrate a place close to my heart. Tooting Market was a place my mother and aunty would take me to go shopping almost every Saturday as a toddler in the early 80’s. A place where I had fond memories spending time with my mother amongst the chaos and excitement of the stalls and traders. It was an indoor labrinth of knick knacks, fabrics, clothes, meat, fruits and veg. Having the opportunity to do a project on the celebration of Tooting Market allowed me to revisit and pay homage to a place I adored as a child; and to see its transformation from 35 years ago as a working class market to a regenerated market which to this day hasn’t lost it local community touch.
The project took a period of 10 weeks to complete which involved me visiting the market twice a week to spend time with the traders and to build a relationship. I was very aware that many people flowed through the market with their cameras snapping away and I didn’t want to be somone who just came in took a photo and left. Over those 10 weeks I got to know the traders well, sharing our stories and simply being neighbourly which allowed me to have more access into their lives making it more comfortable to take their portraits. However it was hard to connect to the busier stalls in the market space.
Markets are such an important historical place in the UK dating back to the 12th century, a market was where people would congregate, buy or sell their produce and socialise, it was the hub of community and local news. In the past 10 years markets in the UK have had to change and adapt to economical and retail climate replacing old traders with new. However markets do provide a personal shopping experience to the public which lacks in high street stores. It also provides a safe place for the public to enjoy the community space amongst the traders. Markets transcends into every worldly culture, a sphere of diversity and acceptance. These portraits celebrate the traders of Tooting Market who make the exprience of visiting a true market enjoyable and real. Below are some of the portraits:
1. Goria Reid – Gloria’s.
2. Manor Singh – S.S. Jewellery.
3. Yusuf Zeroukhi – Italian Portugese Deli.
4. Nicole McIntosh – Nikki’s Hairdresser.
5. Daniel Stannard – Stannards Family Butcher.
6. Alison Reed – Doctor Vinyl.