These photographs are part of a long-term project on the Olympic Park and the Lower Lea Valley, an area bordering the Olympic Park that has been undergoing rapid change in preparation for London 2012. The valley was once a centre of industry, now most of the industry has gone and what we are left with are a series of transitory landscapes that are neither industrial nor natural.
The Olympic Park is a landscape that has moved way beyond the transitional. To search for historical and cultural traces seems a futile exercise as most have been erased from the landscape. The odd tree, and bridge are all that remains. The River Lea provides some sort of orientation, but after many trips to the site, it has becomes increasingly difficult to make the connection between what was there before and what is there now.
In April 2010 landscapes were being shaped around stadia that were in various stages of construction. By April 2011 most of the stadia had been completed and work had started on the landscapes in between. The latest photographs from April 2012 show how the Olympic Park has taken shape.
For me as a photographer it is not enough to consider the Olympic Park in isolation, what is happening around the edges is equally as important. There is much talk about the benefits of the games for local communities; the validity of those claims cannot really be tested now. What I hope the photography will do is record the process of change in this area over time. This is certainly not a project with a July 2012 deadline, it will continue long after the athletes have departed. Jason Orton