Knightsbridge, London Dec 2013 till Oct 2016.
Book published by Dewi Lewis Publishing, February 2017 . ('Harrodsburg' won the inaugural 'Magnum Photography Award 2016')
In Harrodsburg, Dougie Wallace looks at the excessive wealth and consumerism that can be found around the Knightsbridge area close to the world famous department store, Harrods.
From the mid-1970s onwards, Gulf millionaires began coming to the area. They were later joined by the Oligarchs and the Hedgies, in a phenomenon that now involves all the various tribes of the global super-rich buying up London properties as if they were assets to appreciate in value rather than homes in which to live.
The work is a powerful, timely and stark exposé of the emergence of this ultra-affluent elite who are changing the face of the city, pricing out not just ordinary people but even the upper middle class natives of Central London, and marginalising old wealth from their time-honoured habitats. Employing his trademark wit and keen eye for the absurd, Wallace has produced an uncompromising and revealing series of pictures which draw attention to the excesses of the super rich in powerful and direct detail.
Harrodsburg is introduced by cultural commentator Peter York, perhaps best known for his best-selling 1970’s classic The Official Sloane Ranger Handbook. Most recently, in November 2016 he presented Peter York's Hipster Handbook on BBC4.
In less than three years Dougie Wallace has become recognised as one of UK’s leading photographers. He has published three successful books, Stags, Hens & Bunnies and Road Wallah (Dewi Lewis) and Shoreditch Wildlife(Hoxton Minipress) and has featured in major exhibitions in Europe, the United States and India. He continues to attract considerable press and media attention and his photographs feature regularly in leading international publications such as The Sunday Times Magazine.
Bombay India, Jan 2011 till March, 2014
Book published by Dewi Lewis Publishing, February 2016 . (Road Wallah was short-listed for the 'European book publisher’s award 2015') ('Observer', Photography book of the month, Jan 2016)
Premier Padmini taxis, first introduced to the streets of Mumbai in the 1960s, have now all but disappeared following the introduction of laws to reduce pollution in the city. Locally known as 'Kaali-Peeli', there were once more than 60,000 of these iconic black and yellow cabs struggling through the chaos of Mumbai's streets.
Over a four year period Dougie Wallace documented these elaborate Bollywood disco bars on wheels. The crowded streets of Mumbai and the assortment of passengers provide a dynamic and intense backdrop, as do the cabs themselves. Many are pimped with large speakers in the boot that blast out Bollywood hits, or are colourfully decorated inside with posters of Bollywood actresses, upholstered in loud hypnotic patterns, or feature Hindu gods and goddess on the dashboard.
"Wallace sees capturing the road wallah’s cabs as stepping into a time capsule. The images reflect the chaotic, noisy and sometimes claustrophobic workplace of the drivers who spend up to 24 hours a day in their cabs. The unique decor of the cabs, the clients on the back seats and the crowded Bombay streets add up to dynamic single frames. The frontal shots of the drivers’ faces cause for a slight distortion of dimensions and contribute to the intensity and density of the atmosphere, leading to the irresistible authenticity of Wallace’s portraits." - Erik Vroons, Editor-in-chief of GUP
STAGS HENS & BUNNIES, A BLACKPOOL STORY
Blackpool northwest England, Sept 2011 till Nov 2013.
Book published by Dewi Lewis Media, July 2014.
Like a proper ‘Weedgie’, Dougie Wallace doesn’t patronise but sees humanity and pathos
in the carnage that is Blackpool. – Irvine Welsh
Dougie Wallace has captured Blackpool in all its profligate glory. – Alan McGee
Blackpool, a Northern English town once the granddaddy of the seaside resorts. It has now an unenviable reputation for its stag and hen parties. A dirty great whorl of debauchery, licentiousness, laughter, vomit, furry handcuffs, fancy dress and drunken oblivion. Turned every weekend into the heart of social darkness. Marauding packs of brides and grooms, close friends and family, on a mission to consume dangerous, liver-crushing levels of alcohol. This, their rite of passage acted out on the last night of freedom, before the conventions and responsibilities of marital life, mortgage, children.
Once a fun diversion from the industrial heartlands – a bit like Las Vegas with a Victorian twist – is a town that has a palpable and genuine energy of its own. The promenade offers up its gala of grotesque and carny seediness; a whole Golden Mile of pubs and bars for swollen bodies to crawl through flashing scary, carrot coloured midriff flesh. The unbridled hedonism is magnified by an inter-pack competitiveness that manifests itself in drinking games, fights or sex in the toilets! Its twisted and ghoulish, and it’s hard not to laugh.
Dougie Wallace has captured a town heaving with everything from bunnygirls to banana men. Girls dressed in togas, all matching gold handbags and neatly-done hair, giving it the ‘when in Rome’ treatment, devil girls, pink ladies, Brownies, guys in drag, stuffed into nuns’ and nurses’ outfits, wearing salacious T-shirts with ‘Johnny’s Last Night of Freedom’ or ‘Up the Anus Ashley’ – each group with the same singular objective, to get as ‘fucked up’ as possible.
SHOREDITCH WILD LIFE
SHOREDITCH WILD LIFE
Autobiographical account of living in Shoreditch for 15 years.
Book published by Hoxton Mini Press, October 2014.
"Once synonymous with strip clubs, Shoreditch has become one of London’s most popular nightspots, attracting both locals and cultural tourists dipping into the scene for the night. Scottish photographer Dougie Wallace has been capturing the area for over a decade, capturing a wide gamut that runs from rampant exhibitionism to furtive drug taking. “I just always had a camera with me and started taking photos on my nights out,” he says. “I’ve always been a participant, not a voyeur, so I’ve never had any problems photographing anyone.” - Diane Smyth, British Journal of Photography.
"Messy, absurd, hilarious, and full to the brim with the joy of being alive on a sunny weekend in Shoreditch, these pictures fizz with the throbbing life-force of this peculiar square mile of East London - big black blokes head to pointy toe in gold lamé, a girl squatting in cowboy boots with a plastic pint glass who has the look of someone who’s not quite sure what party she’s at anymore, wasted women who look like the best kind of trouble, and all the while there’s a crashed car upside down in the street while the party gets madder all around it: in short, total fucking chaos, a chaos I’ve never seen so condensed into one square mile anywhere else. I didn’t know people lived like this before I moved to Shoreditch as a young man, and now, all these years later, as somebody who’s much more likely to be walking his dog round the park than stuck five hours into a session come Saturday evening, I still can’t quite believe they do." -Michael Smith, author and broadcaster, The Culture Show.
Included in, 'PHOTOGRAPHY MASTERCLASS' Creative Techniques of 100 Great Photographers.
By Paul Lowe
Published by Thames & Hudson.