Persian Kentish Town
A personal take on street photography highlighting the decorative facades, pavements, reflections and illusions of Highgate Road in Kentish Town. The photographs in this project all include oriental carpet imagery.
There are a number of specialist oriental rug shops on Highgate Road which was something that appealed to me when I moved into the area a few years ago. I had already been using carpet imagery in my photographic work, in both portraiture and abstract compositions. Here are a couple of examples; a street abstract taken in 2011 on the A1 in North London:
A self-portrait from 2014:
And one from approximately 1990:
I have a personal affinity with Persian carpets and oriental rugs for a number of reasons. They are part of my heritage. My grandparents were Persian and some of my close and extended family dealt in oriental rugs. Some still do; in fact at one point the Azizollahoff family had a carpet warehouse on Highgate Road but have since moved location. As a child I was brought up thinking Persian carpets were very commonplace; I even had a small oriental rug in my bedroom, placed on top of the fitted carpet. On sunny days my aunt would roll out a Persian rug on the garden lawn for the the kids to sit and play on. This is a photo I’ve scanned from my father’s collection – it’s of my late cousin Jonathan playing with his cats in the back garden:
When my father died, out of all his belongings I kept his old photographs, a few books and a couple of Persian rugs. They hold sentimental value and are linked to my roots and identity. I’m drawn to their visuals and colours too – I find them beautiful.
The Persian Kentish Town project was started in early 2015. It is an ongoing piece of work and the most recent image was taken in May 2018.