Artist and youth worker Lewis Greener, who was selected as the winner out of 220 artists’ submissions for our 38th Annual Open in 2022, presents a series of recent 35mm photographic works and an 8mm film documenting the rapid and often brutal change, growth and development of local city life.

Greener’s exhibition presents black and white photographs and films taken locally to him in the area of Poplar, East London, designed as the first inner-city market town, which record the ways we exist and adapt in a city that is forever changing. His photographic observations show the ways city residents challenge and embrace their built environment in the face of decades of managed decline, gentrification and austerity. Greener’s images are a joyful and tender reflection of people existing in a system that’s actively trying to design them and their way of life out.

The Annual Open and this exhibition is generously supported by Breckman & Company.

The Annual Open is London’s longest-running truly ‘open’ exhibition existing since 1984 to encourage artists at all stages of their career to submit their work as part of a large-scale annual salon show. This is the first year the winner has been awarded £500 towards a solo presentation in our Salter Space, our community focused gallery named in honour of Bermondsey hero Ada Salter, London’s first female mayor, local revolutionary and campaigner for equality and the environment.

Our next 39th Annual Open will take place 12 November – 10 December 2023, please sign up to our mailing list to be updated on the submission process.

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Lewis Greener (b. 1983, based in London) is a facilitator, youth worker and photographer, originally from the North East of England, who has been living in London for the last decade. He is a member of the Gate Darkroom Co-operative and is interested in grassroots and DIY movements, non-formal education, the peripheries of space, the way cultures mutate to different contexts and the way people adapt, interpret and take ownership of their surroundings.

Alongside photography he experiments with soundscapes, oral histories, text, video and printmaking.