Smithfield, 1995 Platinum print, signed and numbered '5/5' on the reverse. Framed. Image 49 x 59.5cm (19 1/4 x 23 3/8in).
Ken Griffiths's series of photographs of Smithfield, London's historic meat market, was created out of a desire to record a way of life threatened with extinction. At a time when changes in industry regulations foretold the end of long-established working practices at the market, the photographer purposefully rejected the colours of the place, shooting in black and white to tell a premature ghost story. Contrasting with the grand architecture of the market building are the deadpan expressions on the faces of the workers as they go about their routines; as if a smile at the camera would have seemed indecent. These candid images expose the mechanics - solemn, bloody and gruesome, yet nonetheless awe-inspiring - behind our well-fed existences.