During the 19th century, Kensington Avenue in North Philadelphia was a symbol of abundance and prosperity. It once was nationally recognized as one of the leaders in the textile industry. Today, Kensington Avenue is abundant in prostitution, drug lords, drug addicts, and poverty.
Photographer Jeffrey Stockbridge, intrigued by Kensington’s history and current situation, creates Kensington Blues, a collection of photographs that capture the essence of the infamous North Philly Avenue and its urban decay by focusing on its daily activity, its inhabitants, and its cluttered,dirty landscapes in decay.
Stockbridge deliberately chooses to work with a large format (mostly used in early photography), not only for its obvious perks in quality, but also, it seems, to juxtapose the histories of two very different times in Kensington Avenue. With a 4×5 camera, Stockbridge slows down the current hectic and toxic flow in Kensington in hopes of shining a light onto his subject’s day-to-day struggles and their surroundings- making us, the viewers, reconsider our quick judgments about them and what they do on a daily basis.
The photographer records new found observations though images, audio recordings and journal entries. (Via Ignant)