I Shot Norman Foster

17 November 2005 - 20 January 2006

Six photographers from the worlds of art, fashion and journalism created new works focussed on Foster & Partner's architecture for the exhibition I Shot Norman Foster. This photography exhibition, at The Architecture Foundation gallery, The Yard, challenged conventional architectural photography and captured how Foster's projects relate to the city and the people that encounter them - not just as lone buildings.

Photographers and their work include:

  • Artist Richard Wentworth's photographs examine the curious and incidental details of Foster & Partner's buildings from the street.
  • Jemima Stehli's work uses her own body to explore the nature of the space she occupies.
  • Photographer Olivia Beasley has taken voyeuristic shots of the night-time disarray left behind by workers at the HSBC building in Canary Wharf, Riverside Three and Albion Wharf - toying with the theme of the absence of people.
  • Poppy de Villeneuve's documentary-style photographs capture the disordered reality of how architecture is ultimately used, people waiting to meet and riding the escalators at Canary Wharf station. 
  • Magnum Reportage photographer Chris Steele-Perkins has caught 30 St Mary Axe, better known as 'the Gherkin', the Millennium Bridge and City Hall in obscure yet familiar reflections and intricately layered and contextual images that are almost super-real.
  • Norbert Schoerner is a fashion photographer with clients including Vogue, I-D, Prada, Miu Miu and McQueen and has created time-lapsed images of the Great Court at the British Museum.

Architectural photography as a discipline has been around as long as photography; from Roger Fenton's first photographs of the Kremlin in 1852; Ezra Stoller's 1955 images of the nearly completed Chapel Notre-Dame-du-Haut by Le Corbusier; Martin Charles' visionary photographs of the then futuristic Pompidou Centre in 1977; to the more recent images of Zaha Hadid and Daniel Liebeskind's buildings by Hélène Binet. Although photographic styles have changed with the times, a certain formula has always been adhered to. This exhibition brings a fresh perspective to a seasoned discipline.

The photographers in I Shot Norman Foster bring an understanding of image and storytelling to interpret the human layer of the very visible and iconic Foster & Partner's buildings in London. This exhibition does not attempt to provide definitive answers on how to photograph architecture, but to experiment and offer a new direction.

The exhibition was accompanied by lunchtime discussions with the photographers.

Image: Olivia Beasley

Photography by:
Olivia Beasley
Poppy de Villeneuve
Norbert Schoerner
Chris Steele-Perkins
Jemima Stehli
Richard Wentworth

Curated by: Elias Redstone
Assisted by: Sarah Tridgell

Graphic Design: Hyperkit
Photographic Prints: Resolution Creative
Lighting: Zumtobel Staff