Michael and Mandana on Lexington Street

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Stillsoho is a multidisciplinary project documenting a generation of artists, writers, friends and lovers whom I met while working at the French House pub in Soho, London and dates from 1999 to approx 2010. Inspired by the work of John Deakin, Ida Kar and Brassai, those who captured the Soho and Paris demi-monde of their times, I was conscious of documenting a new generation of Sohoites and the landscape of a disappearing London. Some of the people and places in Stillsoho such as The Colony Rooms no longer exist or in the case of Sebastian Horsley, are sadly no longer alive.

Stillsoho is a document of a Soho that was still elegantly hedonistic, when it was still driven by its history and its fast and louche past characters. The ghosts of former habituées such as Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, John Deakin, Elizabeth Smart, and Ida Kar, were very much present and talked about. It was a Soho that was at the heart of the city - for the classless, stateless, and timeless, full of eccentricities, awkwardness, and excitement.

I was a participant in this narrative, and captured this story through black and white analogue photography. Other narrative layers include ephemera and archival items in the form of letters, the exchange of gifts, and a collection of passport photos of regular French House customers.

Stillsoho is also the story of my introduction to this very special part of London life, one that gave me an education into friendship, love, family, poetry, art, obsession, addiction, heartbreak, disappointment, and beauty. This was a transformative time for me. Soho, and Dean Street in particular, became the centre of my universe. I felt that I had found a cultural utopia in this magical other place and it was the first time in my life I had truly felt part of a community. 


Somewhere in Soho: Concetta

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Poem by Simon Skinner

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Concetta, Hilary, Paul Lawford, Robert Rubbish, Phil Dirtbox and Ed at the French

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Sebastian Horsley at his flat on Meard Street, Soho in the summer of 2006. He was posing for a portrait by David Courts.

Sebastian at home 

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Oliver Bernard

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Somewhere in Soho: Blonde girl and her friend 

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Pav at the French

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Somewhere in Soho: Celine

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Charing Cross Road: Vanessa and Bruno's flat

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Gerry's club

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Sophia at The Phoenix Bar

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Sebastian and Babette at the Colony Room

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David Brown and Henry at the Colony Room

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Hilary at the Colony Room

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Neal Fox at the Colony

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Phil Dirtbox at Gerry's

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Mandana and Patrick at the Academy

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Steve Walsh, Paul Lawford and Hilary on Bourchier Street

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Paul Lawford outside The Colony Room

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Hilary, red lipstick

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Nervous Stephen on Beak Street

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Adam Ant

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Sebastian and Michael at Lorelei

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Paul Lawford outside the French pub

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Piccadilly: Aaron Nudnik, Tim Noble and James Birch at the Royal Academy

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Self portrait with Michael and camera

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Even a stopped clock tells the right time twice a day

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Lovers at the Soho House

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