Events, Interviews, Photobooks

Finding photography in a book market in an old Peckham car park

All images © Alex F. Webb

Copeland Book Market, the annual South East London art fair, has become a hotbed of the best emerging photography in the UK.

“I think we’re probably the most unambitious book market there is, ” says Lewis Chaplin, founder and one of the organisers of Peckham’s very own photofair Copeland Book Market.

Chaplin is hardly one for bluster, but perhaps he should be. The annual south London art book market has become a hotbed of the best emerging photography in the UK.

Running from the 31st of July to the 2nd of August, Copeland showcases thoughtfully crafted work from independent publishers such as Dobedo, Arcadia Missa and Jane & Jeremy. Chaplin and the team appreciates publishers for whom: “You can just tell that the motivation for making [books] is out of pure enjoyment, rather than to expand their business empire, turn a profit or make the right connections.”

Now in its fourth year, this time Copeland are partnering with The White Review, a quarterly arts and literature journal who will be bringing together a curated series of events and publishers. It also represents a broadening of sorts, Chaplin says: “This year we’re really excited about having more literary publishers participating like Cabinet, Granta and Faber & Faber, rubbing shoulders with the regulars here at Copeland.”

Taking place in their usual location at Bold Tendencies, a multi-storey car park in Peckham that has been transformed into a cultural hub and a focal point for the burgeoning South London creative community, the Copeland team (Lewis Chaplin, Guy Robertson, Oliver Griffin, Kat Black and Tom Saunderson) is tightly-knit, each with their own separate practices, ranging from artistry, curation and design.

“I don’t think any of us actually want it to become a big giant thing, [like] Offprint,” Chaplin says. “We like the idea that there’s 30 tables each year, never more, never less. [We can] play around and think how making really subtle alterations to it can change the atmosphere, the people that attend [and] maybe open people up to different kinds of things.”