Allan Grainger


Psychogeography is concerned with the way that different places make us feel and behave: it uncovers our connection to a place, which is often overlooked in the everyday maelstrom of urban life. This approach has shaped every photograph in London Tableaux. Each tableau was formed through an initial response to a place and then by further understanding, via observed and a priori knowledge.

London Tableaux focuses on well-known cultural areas of the city. Behavioural patterns, the occupation of space, and sociopolitical status are some of the themes considered. London Tableaux shows a collection of separate occurrences, which reveal aspects of temporality, memory, and the historical significance of place. Each tableau is made up of a series of images taken over a period of one day, then edited and assembled to make a final photographic tableau that embodies subjective and objective aspects of a place.

The French poet, Charles Baudelaire, wrote about the ghosts that the imagination meets on every street corner of Paris. These tableaux are occupied by transient figures and temporal traces that make up scenes that hold both the present and memory – scenes that have slipped from a palimpsest of physical encounters to an imagined optical reality.


Allan is a photographer whose work considers notions of place, culture, identity and belonging within the urban landscape. His interest in the depiction of a psychogeographical encounter, by constructing a photographic tableau, is central to his practice.

Allan’s long career in photography has involved working on professional assignments in Europe, America and Africa. His art commissions include the documentation of Manchester (UK) for the Lucy Bell Fine Art Gallery.

Allan is a co-founder of Urban Photographers Brighton, a member of the Urban Photographers Association, the International Association of Visual Urbanists, a regular contributor to Crossing Lines and a member of London Independent Photography.

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