Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Entertaining Angles

People see homelessness everyday, especially in large cities like London and Leeds. Most don't take much notice, thinking that it does not concern them, that it is something that is happening to someone else. Some turn away to avoid eye contact, thinking that it must be their own fault that they are there.

Instead of turning it's back, 'Entertaining Angles' focuses directly on experiences of the homeless connected with the Crypt from the early days in the 1930s to the present day. Telling their stories, the encounters with each other and the rest of the world.

Photographs were taken by Jonathon Angerson. "As a documentary photographer, the best thing you can learn is when not to take a photograph. My first couple of months at The Crypt were disheartening. The people who used the place were very hostile to me just being there with my camera. One guy in particular, a drunk would abuse me to the point that I was never able to take any pictures when he was there. I would have to wait till he fell asleep or left. There was a few weeks he wasn’t around that I got a lot of work done I recall." In time people began to trust Angerson and even contributed pieces of writing to the book telling their stories. The book raised money for St George's Crypt to stay open so it was of positive benefit to the people who featured in it.

Entertaining Angels is a people's history of St George's Crypt - a collection of stories and memories. It is richly illustrated with archive and contemporary photography, which captures the rawness and diversity of life at the Crypt. The stories are told by clients, staff, volunteers and supporters of the Crypt. This is a great way to create awareness and generate discussion about homlessness and the work of the Crypt. Great self-promotion.

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