Night Rider

Showing as part of Tate Britain’s epic new photography exhibition How We Are: Photographing Britain is Richard Primrose’s project NightBus Diaries, which documents London’s nocturnal comings and goings over several months in 2005

“Between 1 and 5am I approached people waiting for their night bus and photographed them, then chatted with them until their bus arrived,” he explains. “The NightBus Project celebrates the shift-workers, sightseers, show-goers, night-clubbers and stranded travellers who for one reason or another find themselves waiting for a London bus in the twilight hours. They all have their stories to tell, from the banal to the bizarre.”

The finished work also documents Primrose’s own story of the trials and tribulations of working on the project. Most poignant is his entry on the day of the 7/7 bombings, which followed a euphoric evening documenting revellers celebrating London’s Olympic bid win. “Seeing a bus blown apart was strange to say the least,” he comments. “London had been ecstatic the night before.”

Primrose’s musings have become part of the work, which utilises a video iPod to display the images while his words provide a commentary. “The iPod is personal,” he explains. “You put your headphones on, focus on the screen and the outside world disappears. I wanted people’s full concentration.”

How We Are… is at Tate Britain until 2 September.


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How We Are: Photographing Britain

1. Nancy Hellebrand, Marion in a Bed Sitter, July 1974 © Nancy Hellebrand
How We Are: Photographing Britain, currently on show at Tate Britain, celebrates nearly 170 years of British photography, from 1840 until the present day. The exhibition explores our relationship with the medium and the ways in which the camera has been used as a tool for recording, assessing and evaluating both information and our own culture.

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