Driving out of a big city one will come to an area where the dense urban zone starts to thin out, and gives way to more open spaces, and eventually, the countryside.
This area is an intriguing part of the metropolis, as it is revealing the socio-economic underbelly, the housing and trades that are pushed out and have to settle in cheaper and undefined no-man’s-lands. They compete with new developments, that cannot fit into the city anymore, and try to distinguish themselves with manicured pieces of landscaping and gardening.
It is an unregulated, neglected area where the idea of land grabbing, the city eating into the countryside becomes visual. The fringes also serve as an economic hinterland for the city – energy plants, logistics centers, storage facilities and cheap housing for workers commuting into town.
London, with its history of low density and single or double story developments, is especially prone to this fading out into the landscape around.
It is an area with no identity, not city not countryside. It is here where you feel the pressure, socially, economically and environmentally, that the inner city passes on to its fringes.
Daniel Stier is a visual artist and image maker living and working between London and Germany. Following his Diploma in Photography Stiers wry style and remarkable range put him in frequent demand with many international publications. His portraiture work has seen him building up a collection from the world of film, design, music and art. The National Portrait Gallery holds many of his celebrity portraits in their collection. He has created advertising campaigns for international brands including Nike, Sony, Volkswagen, Virgin, Barclays.
Besides his commercial practice, Stier has held numerous exhibitions, publishes books, gives talks and workshops, and is a lecturer in photography.
@ text and pictures by Daniel Stier