Stephen Gill, ‘Best Before the End’ at FOAM

Exhibition Review – Stephen Gill, Best Before the End

Foam Fotografie Museum, Amsterdam.

© Stephen Gill, Hackney Flowers

On a short trip to Amsterdam what was definitely on my agenda to visit the Foam Fotographie Museum. I am fascinated by the constantly changing format & design of Foam magazine issues that I am sure the gallery would be just as interesting.

The exhibition at Foam during my visit was the first retrospective exhibition of English photographer Stephen Gill. The Best Before End exhibition comprises a large number of series that Gill has made over the past fourteen years in and around the London Hackney district, as well as recent work being shown for the first time at Foam.

The layout of the exhibition is one project per wall so they are clearly separated and defined. The exhibition flows though Gill’s work slowly showing his drifting between both documentary and his more conceptual approach to his work. Sometimes the work seams to jump from one interpretation to the next leaving me feeling slightly confused but intrigued, and clearly states that he will not be pigeonholed into a certain type of photography.

One thing that was a disappointing part the exhibition was the lack of focus on Gill’s self-published books. There was a glass cabinet with his collection of photography books, but no opportunity to look through the books or see past the front page.

The exhibition leaves you comparing his projects and approaches to his work in a more critical way by having them shown next to each other, and as a photographer myself, considering if my approach to my work is the best way to express each project.

Best Before End – A solo exhibition of Stephen Gill’s London series will be on show at Foam Fotografie Museum Amsterdam from 17 May 2013 until 15 July 2013.


Keizersgracht 609

1017 DS Amsterdam

© Stephen Gill, Day Return

Written by Sophie Stafford, intern