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Exhibition at RIBA: Battersea Power Station: Photography by Michael Collins

This exhibition - from 3-29 September - presented  by the Royal Institute of British Architects contains a series of large scale colour photographs (4' by 5') of Battersea Power Station by artist Michael Collins which give a fascinating and faithful account of this British landmark as it exists today.

The images show Battersea Power Station as what Collins describes as a "twentieth century ruined castle" a building that was built to last, with a high quality structure and interior, including Art Deco walls and ceilings. A remarkable and much-loved London landmark, very few people have seen the people close-up as it is not open to the public and has a safety exclusion zone. Collins' images of the interior reveal the control rooms in their original splendour and the magnificence of the ceramic turbine halls.

Collins applies the principles of record picture photography to his images placing an emphasis on clear, unadorned, detailed description a practice that has been employed by architects and civil engineers since 1843 to give a photograph that is as plainly realistic as possible. This results in pictures with a seemingly neutral mode, which leaves the viewers free to explore the photograph on their own terms.

Michael Collins is a photographer based in London who uses a 8 x 10 inch plate camera and digital printing technology to create his unique style of applied record photography. Over the last ten years he has been photographing industrial landscapes and structures in England.  He has covered subjects including the redevelopment of St Pancras, the construction of the M6 Toll Motorway, the Jaguar and Rover car factories in Birmingham and a host of other projects across the country. His work has been exhibited in the Barbican Art Gallery, London and is in the collections of the Victoria & Albert Museum. Recently he had an exhibition of London City Scapes at City Hall which will appear in New York in September 2009. He is the author of Record Pictures, a book about this genre of photography and his work has been published in The Guardian, Granta and the Daily Telegraph, for whom he is a former picture editor.

The exhbition runs from 3-29 September at Gallery 1, RIBA, 66 Portland Place, London W1B 1AD.  Admission is free.

Date posted: 19 August 2009