Museum of London celebrates Waltham Forest

Published 19 August by Charlotte Marshall

Museum of London has unveiled a series of photography featuring Waltham Forest mums-to-be who will welcome their new arrivals in the borough’s year as the Mayor’s first London Borough of Culture.

The latest in the Museum of Londoners photo series, this series of high-impact photography will adorn the exterior of the museum’s new home in West Smithfield, part of the City of London’s Culture Mile, which stretches from Farringdon to Moorgate.

From Leyton to Chingford, each woman and her bump are captured in a unique setting special to them: at home, at work, or at local landmarks highlighting their connection to the surrounding area.

The latest collaboration between the Museum of London and creative agency Kessels Kramer, perfectly captures the diverse, inspiring and individual personalities of Waltham Forest, helping to cement that the new Museum of London will be truly reflective of London and Londoners.

The photographer behind the series, London-based Lucy Alex Mac, has previously worked with publications like ES Magazine and i-D Magazine. Through her work, Mac has worked with flamboyant and offbeat personalities, all portrayed on frames as unconventional as their characters.

Commenting on the series, the photographer said: “From the outset of the project, it was important to produce images that were authentic both to the ladies involved, and to the audience that would see it. We developed the concepts collaboratively with each participant to align the photos as much as possible with their individual personalities. We discussed locations that resonated with them and let the ladies choose what they wore. They courageously wore insanely high heels, stood in the freezing cold marshes and climbed across fake boulders and dinosaurs to create their images, all whilst being weeks (sometimes days!) away from giving birth. It’s been a very personal project and I hope the ladies feel as empowered by it as I have.”

Lauren Parker, Head of Creative Partnerships, Museum of London, said: “We’re so excited to unveil the latest in our Museum of Londoners series. These photographs celebrate women bringing the next generation of Londoners into the Mayor’s first ever London Borough of Culture this year, Waltham Forest. They show real women working and pursuing their hobbies, all in the late stages of pregnancy. It is fantastic and empowering to see how each of their personalities come through in the photographs. These women make up the unique and diverse fabric of London, and we are proud to share their stories on the walls of our new home.  We hope our mums and their new additions enjoy seeing their images loud and proud as much as we do and we’re looking forward to inviting the families to the opening of the new Museum of London in a few years’ time.”

Sam Hunt, Creative Director of Waltham Forest London Borough of Culture 2019, said: “The Museum of London has a well rooted history of bringing to life Londoners’ stories; an aim that has been the driving force for Waltham Forest’s year as the Mayor’s first ever London Borough of Culture. Through 2019’s programme we have worked with thousands of residents to tell their stories. This collaboration with one of the capital’s best loved institutions is an exciting way to celebrate its new home, with Lucy Alex Mac’s fascinating photography series featuring parents and their children born in this most exciting of years for the borough.”

The latest series builds on the 2017 Museum of Londoners campaign with photographer Vicky Grout, which featured a cross-section of Londoners living and working in Smithfield, including a butcher in the meat market, to a civil engineer working for Crossrail.