Portraits of 'Common People' in the UK


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Portraits of 'Common People' in the UK

Chris Shaw spent three years photographing life on a housing estate in the south of England.

The post originally appeared on VICE UK.

Sandy Hill Estate lies to the north west of Farnham, on the border of Surrey and Hampshire. A mixture of private and council housing, the estate was designed around a throughroad, which runs like a spine, with cul-de-sacs leading off it to parking areas made up of open space and garages. The houses are of unusual design, with the back of the homes facing the roads and garages, and the fronts opening out to small interlocking courtyards interlaced with a network of footways.


I discovered this place in 1987, while studying photography at a local art college. I felt alienated from my fellow students, but found a home on the Sandy Hill Estate. Over the next three years I gave people photo prints, which led to taking more pictures. The camera was an excuse, really—I liked talking to "normal" people. They were obsessed with cars and bikes, and they were "normal" to me.