From New Romantics in the Blitz club to Rockabillies at the Elephant, fascinating new exhibition chronicles the rise and fall of London's subcultures 

  • Fascinating new Museum of London exhibition explores the rise and fall of subcultures in London over the years
  • From the New Romantics of the Blitz club to Rockabillies in Elephant and Castle, photos explore capital's history
  • Large-scale project, called Stomping Grounds, features large collection of images from Dick Scott-Stewart Archive

From the New Romantics of the Blitz club in Covent Garden to Rockabillies in Elephant and Castle, a fascinating new exhibition has emerged chronicling the rise and fall of London's subcultures.

Showing the works of London-based photographer Dick Scott-Stewart, 'Stomping Grounds' captures the capital's eclectic social scene in the late 1970s and early 1980s with a selection of iconic black and white photographs.

From wrestling matches at Battersea Arts Centre and punks on the Kings Road, the showcase depicts life in London through its 'scenes'.

Despite being a freelance photographer for more than 30 years, Scott-Stewart's work is relatively unknown. This exhibition brings to light 38 photographs alongside ephemera to reveal some of his best personal projects of the era.

Anna Sparham, curator of photographs at the Museum of London, said: 'Dick Scott-Stewart was an accomplished professional photographer who mastered the challenges of black and white film image-making.

'These images offer a fascinating glimpse into different social groups during the late 70s and post-punk era in London. He held great respect for his subjects, recognising and identifying with people on the periphery and his images collectively present a real sense of identity and belonging.'

Drawing his inspiration from some of the great European and American black and white photographers, Scott-Stewart's style demonstrated impressive skill involving high contrast and vivid use of light and dark to create his own distinctive style. 

Born in the Cotswolds to a doctor and a nurse, he studied photography at the London College of Printing and worked as a freelance photographer thereafter until his death in 2002, when the archive in his name was founded.

Stomping Grounds, which forms a run of displays at the museum that explore London subcultures, runs from May 27 until September 18.

Showing the works of London-based photographer Dick Scott-Stewart, the 'Stomping Grounds' exhibition at the Museum of London captures the capital's eclectic social scene in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Pictured: Punks on the Kings Road, west London, 1981

Showing the works of London-based photographer Dick Scott-Stewart, the 'Stomping Grounds' exhibition at the Museum of London captures the capital's eclectic social scene in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Pictured: Punks on the Kings Road, west London, 1981

From the New Romantics of the Blitz club in Covent Garden (pictured in 1980) to Rockabillies in Elephant and Castle, the fascinating new exhibition chronicles the rise and fall of London's subcultures and features a selection of photos from the Dick Scott-Stewart Archive

From the New Romantics of the Blitz club in Covent Garden (pictured in 1980) to Rockabillies in Elephant and Castle, the fascinating new exhibition chronicles the rise and fall of London's subcultures and features a selection of photos from the Dick Scott-Stewart Archive

Despite being a freelance photographer for more than 30 years, Scott-Stewart's work is relatively unknown. This exhibition brings to light 38 photographs alongside ephemera to reveal some of his best personal projects of the era. Pictured: Transwomen in Pimlico, 1981

Despite being a freelance photographer for more than 30 years, Scott-Stewart's work is relatively unknown. This exhibition brings to light 38 photographs alongside ephemera to reveal some of his best personal projects of the era. Pictured: Transwomen in Pimlico, 1981

Two women pose outside Vicky Scott's Fantasy Photography in 1982
A couple are seen jive dancing at the Empire Ballroom in 1983

Two women pose outside Vicky Scott's Fantasy Photography in 1982 (left), while a couple are seen jive dancing at the Empire Ballroom in 1983. Stomping Grounds, which forms a run of displays at the museum that explore London subcultures, runs from May 27 until September

Anna Sparham, curator of photographs at the Museum of London, said: 'These images offer a fascinating glimpse into different social groups during the late 70s and post-punk era in London.' Pictured: Inside the Blitz Club in London's Covent Garden in 1981

Anna Sparham, curator of photographs at the Museum of London, said: 'These images offer a fascinating glimpse into different social groups during the late 70s and post-punk era in London.' Pictured: Inside the Blitz Club in London's Covent Garden in 1981

Born in a leafy Cotswolds village to a doctor and a nurse, Dick Scott-Stewart (pictured above) studied photography at the London College of Printing and worked as a freelance photographer thereafter until his death in 2002, when the archive in his name was founded

Born in a leafy Cotswolds village to a doctor and a nurse, Dick Scott-Stewart (pictured above) studied photography at the London College of Printing and worked as a freelance photographer thereafter until his death in 2002, when the archive in his name was founded

During his photographic career, Scott-Stewart published a book Fairground Snaps, in 1974, exhibited nationally and internationally and had work feature regularly in leading newspapers and magazines. Pictured: Wrestlers at the Battersea Arts Centre and Town Hall in 1981
Wrestlers at the Battersea Arts Centre and Town Hall in 1981

During his photographic career, Scott-Stewart published a book Fairground Snaps, in 1974, exhibited nationally and internationally and had work feature regularly in leading newspapers and magazines. Pictured: Wrestlers at the Battersea Arts Centre and Town Hall in 1981

The exhibition shows the difference between subcultures in London including Rockabillies in Elephant and Castle (pictured) in the 1980s, and a jive dancer at the Empire Ballroom in 1981
The black and white showcase will run at the Museum of London until September 18

The exhibition shows the difference between subcultures in London including Rockabillies in Elephant and Castle (left) in the 1980s, and a jive dancer at the Empire Ballroom in 1981 (right). The black and white showcase will run at the Museum of London until September 18

From wrestling matches at Battersea Arts Centre and punks on the Kings Road, the 'Stomping Ground' showcase depicts life in London through its 'scenes' and subcultures during the 70s and 80s. Pictured: West Ham football supporters are pictured on the terraces in 1976

From wrestling matches at Battersea Arts Centre and punks on the Kings Road, the 'Stomping Ground' showcase depicts life in London through its 'scenes' and subcultures during the 70s and 80s. Pictured: West Ham football supporters are pictured on the terraces in 1976

Pictured: Strip performers at a London club in a black and white photograph taken by Dick Scott-Stewart between 1981 and 1983

Pictured: Strip performers at a London club in a black and white photograph taken by Dick Scott-Stewart between 1981 and 1983

From punks hanging out on London's Kings Road (pictured) to dancers at a jive dancing competition, the new Museum of London exhibition chronicles the rise and fall of various different scenes and subcultures in the capital from the late 1970s to the early 1980s
Stomping Grounds, which forms a run of displays at the museum that explore London subcultures, runs from May 27 until September 18

From punks hanging out on London's Kings Road (left) to dancers at a jive dancing competition (right), the new Museum of London exhibition chronicles the rise and fall of various different scenes and subcultures in the capital from the late 1970s to the early 1980s

 

Punks on the Kings Road in 1981 are among the black and white images to feature in the exhibition, showcasing London's subcultures

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