Although Covid may feel like a lesser worry than before, its rippling effects can be felt across businesses in their thousands, making it harder for independently-run companies, in particular, to get back on their feet.
Established in 2019, Shoreditch's beloved Photobook Cafe is just one example where the cracks of Covid still show. However, their latest project and fundraiser Best In Bloom hopes to give Covid its final parting Fuck You so the gallery and social space can go on to be bigger and better than ever before. Initiated to financially help the space climb out of the pandemic's shadows, Best In Bloom is a carefully curated display that details the work of 50 photographers submitting to the theme of flowers. Each submission was selected by PhotoBook Cafe and Rapid Eye Darkrooms and is sized at 16x20, available for sale in editions of five. Each print is priced at an affordable £100 and will support PBC's new exhibition and workshop space in the cafe's basement on Leonard Circus.
Featuring an impressive roster of artists from the likes of Jamie Hawkesworth and Lea Colombo to Brian Dowling and Piczo, each print is unique in its interpretation of the natural world, all taking inspiration from flora and fauna (as per the brief) yet still producing original and stunningly beautiful imagery.
Commenting on the importance of the fundraiser, curator Matt Martin said in a statement:
'It's been a tough few years, but it is great to see people out at exhibitions and events again. We love having such a strong photographic community around us as well as being able to have the luxury of accommodating an exhibition and workshop space to support and give back to them. This fundraiser is crucial to spread the idea of collective projects as we want the gallery to feel as fun and inclusive as the cafe upstairs. We want to house an exhibition space that excites and inspires the viewer while still offering unconditional support to young photographers and image-makers everywhere, creating a space that backs new publications and expands ideas'.
Best In Bloom will remain open to the public until 6 August. Won't be able to get down to the cafe in time to see the prints in full bloom (pardon the pun)? All prints are now available for sale online, too.