Kane Hulse is a London based photographer whose work focuses on projects using colour, light and form. He recently shot an architectural story on the Alexandra Road Estate in North London, an iconic piece of social housing and the first post-war council housing estate to be listed. We caught up with Kane to speak about his love for film photography and architecture.
Walking along the Alexandra Road estate, every day you are made aware of its visual importance in popular British culture as the movie crews, photographers and musicians swarm in for their quick usage of the estate’s visuals before leaving just as hastily.
By shooting on the Leica M7 I wanted to look into the soul of the building, the estate feels like a city within itself when you are there, you feel disconnected to the surrounding area once you step onto the dramatic red-bricked 350m curved pedestrian street, lined by hundreds of apartments overlooking this social centerpiece. The estate has its own park, stores and community centre and you live with neighbours above you, below you and side to side.
Despite the consistency of the apartments and their exterior concrete aesthetic (originally white but weathered into a stripey grey), each apartment is unique and this is most evident in the use of plants. Each home was consciously designed to give its residents an external space and through-out the block, botanics climb out of every terrace and create a tropical warmth amongst the concrete.
The estate is characterised as a ‘gritty’ council estate in its media representation but I wanted to capture a warmer, intimate side to it. Shooting on film helped facilitate this. The warmer textures and tones from the film along with the unobtrusiveness of the camera were the perfect combination for capturing this energy. The compact size of the camera also meant I could go handheld and not traipse with a tripod, usually a necessity for architectural photography.
Find out more about Kane’s work here: http://www.kanehulse.com
Shot on the Leica M7 on Kodak Porta 400 with the Summilux-M 50 f/1.4