ldner #222 | anthony lycett

Our LDNER this week is a photographer who’s interested in human behaviour and the idea of identity and his latest project Self.Styled has been in the works for the past eight and a half years. Meet Anthony Lycett…

Where do you live in London and what do you like about the area?

I live and have my studio in Stoke Newington. I like the area because it has a real village in the city feel, you feel part of a community. With its mix of cafes, shops, bars, pubs and restaurants there is something for everyone with most businesses still being independent.

Why did you decide to focus on portrait photography?

I used to be interested in fashion but I was always more fascinated by people. Human behaviour is very interesting and with a portrait, when you make a true connection you can see and understand much more the complexity of the human mind.

Tell us about your latest project Self.Styled?

I did a series of portraits for a so-called ‘style’ book back in 2007, it was 12 interesting characters of London which included the likes of Paloma Faith and Shingai Shoniwa (lead singer of the band the Noisettes). The pictures were never used and the book was just a boring collection of pictures of famous names… I wanted to celebrate these people, they are not famous but they are totally Self.Styled and unique.

It is not easy for people who stand out for looking different, my aim was to document them to show that they are not too different from you and me, they just want to be accepted for who they are, not who they are expected to be. I have never understood why people are afraid of others who look different to them, causing them to feel the only thing they can do is to resort to aggression, whether in the form of verbal or physical abuse. My hope is that my project will help people understand to accept others choices whether it be the way they dress, their sexual orientation, body art or even the colour of their hair.

What’s been your favourite exhibition from the ones you’ve been a part of so far?

My favourite exhibition which i’ve been part of has to be my solo show of Self.Styled in Paris at the gallery Isabelle Gounod in 2016. It presented eccentricity to the bemused Parisian art world. I loved that they had never seen something like this before.

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Describe your perfect day in London…

My perfect day would be breakfast at the Pacific Social Club in Hackney, then off to London Fields if it’s sunny. Afterwards I’d go to the Whitechapel Gallery to see their latest exhibition. Then I’d go to the Dalston rooftop bar for some beers and watch the sun setting over East London. Dinner at Mangal on Kingsland Road, then cocktails at Fontaines also on Kingsland Road. There is so much going on in East London where else would you want to be?