Ed Robertson (AKA Occipitals) is a street photographer based in London. His images illustrate the dichotomy of city life as he explores the isolation and solitude within one of the world’s biggest cities. Corporate world by day, photographer by night – Robertson takes most of his photographs under the cover of darkness as he seeks to expose the rituals are most often ignored.
Interview With The Artist
When did you first come to London?
I have been living in London for just over 2 years now. I grew up in Perth Australia for 22 years after immigrating from Jersey C.I with my family when I was two. What bought me to London? I was just fed up of trying to find a stable graphic design position in Perth and I decided one day to apply for an internship London. A week later I had my bags packed and was on a plane.
How would you best describe the city and your relationship with it?
The city is open minded, diverse, fast paced and constantly evolving. My time here has been nothing short of amazing. I love the hustle and bustle of the city. The week day morning rush is a sight to see and the craziness that ensues it. London is a melting pot of many different people and cultures, which is reflected in the communities in which they reside. So each part of London really does feel really different from the next. So from a photography standpoint there’s never a lack of content, no matter where you go in London.
Creatively, London is a dream. If you want express yourself creatively any way, whether it be through music, design, photography, fashion etc London allows you to do that. Im surrounded by a lot of talented people so it does push me to try new things but also to work hard to be better at what I do.
What are the main themes you explore throughout your photography?
Capturing the every day life of London and it’s current inhabitants.
How would you best describe the ‘current inhabitants’ of the city?
Londoners are very friendly but from a photography stand point they do not like to be photographed. Moving into street photography has been a challenge because of this. I have already been in a few hairy situations. But that hasn’t deterred me from pursing this side of photography.
Why do you use the alias “Occipitals”
The Occipital Lobe is the visual processing centre of the mammalian brain. So I guess you could say that my job as a photographer, and a graphic designer, is to stimulate that part of the brain whether it be with colour, composition, light, shapes, space, subjects etc.
Do you think social media is useful for photographers like yourself?
Incredibly useful. It’s not only just a great way to express yourself creatively and to show case your work, but also an incredible tool to meet people with the same interest and passion for photography.
Your blog reads, “I assume perfection is possible and I want to wring it out of every picture.” Is there one image of yours that you feel most accurately illustrates this statement?
Why this one? It has recently been reported that the number of homeless people in London has doubled over the last few years. So the image has a context and meaning behind it. It shows how oblivious we have all become to our surrounding environment because we are constantly looking at our mobile phones.
What do you do with yourself outside of photography?
I do work the standard Monday – Friday grind but other than that I do enjoy a good coffee so Im often sitting in cafes editing photos.
What are your plans for the future?
To go travelling a lot more often.