In 2013 myself and Nickolaus Bauer embarked on a nine month exploration into an open air Crack and Heroin den.
Originally we wanted to spend 48 hours in the park and document two full days and two full nights for the project ,however after visiting the park for the first time we quickly realised we were in for quite a challenge.
It was dirty,dangerous and hostile.
We entered the park on the first day and were quickly approached by a young man who looked no older than me and he asked what we were buying?Our response was a predetermined agreement and we openly said we wanted to do a project on the park as a purely observational project not investigative.
He told us to fuck off.
We walked past him deeper into the park ,a man approached us.He was 6ft tall ,skinny with noticeable gang tattoos, cornrows and piercing eyes .He's name was Damian he was friendly...too friendly.We sidestepped him quickly after explaining what we wanted to do and carried on further overstaying our welcome by pressing deeper into this new world.We walked across a basketball court surrounded by groups of junkies sitting on mattresses ,tyres and crates.A West African man screamed at us for crossing the open court.This court was for buying and selling not being a tourist,and so it all began.
We learnt our way around the park over our next nine months getting to know users and dealers.We discussed what we wanted to portray in the images and talked about life with these fascinating almost invisible characters.
These are the Portraits we came up with from forming actual relationships with each one of these people learning their story and outlooks on life.
It was photographed against a white scrim blown out by the sun and lit with a reflector.
All images were shot on location in the park with a Hasselblad 500c\m camera on 50iso B&W Ilford.