Upon the High Street

  • Daniel Loveday
  • Joshua Atkins

UPON THE HIGH STREET Upon the High Street is a photography project shot in collaboration by Medway-raised artists Joshua Atkins and Daniel Loveday. This collection of images focuses on Chatham's High Street and the surrounding area, offering a raw view of the Kent town and the people that utilise the space there. Chatham's history, rooted in the dockyard and army barracks, has forged a resilient working-class identity, which is etched into the streets. The closure of the dockyard in 1984 brought huge challenges, but the area has adapted and continues to evolve. Over the past two decades, a wave of ethnic minority populations has breathed new life into Chatham, transforming the High Street into a vibrant cultural mosaic. Against the aftermath of the 2016 Brexit vote, these photos capture the continually changing dynamic. 64.1% of Medway residents voted in favour of the referendum. This project does not shy away from reality, capturing what could be considered the "last generation" of High Street shoppers. Amidst a shifting retail landscape, fuelled by online shopping and next-day delivery, 'To Let' signs and vape stores punctuate the scenery, filling the vacuum left by fixtures that had been there an eternity. Thankfully, the locals persist. Upon the High Street is a glimpse of Chatham's evolution - a testament to its resilience and the blend of cultures that exist along High Streets across the UK; it is a look at a town in permanent transition, where history meets contemporary life. www.joshua-atkins.com www.daniellovday.com