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Press Release: Road to 2012: A Local Story

Thursday 19 July 2012


The National Portrait Gallery/BT Road to 2012 Project
In partnership with BT as part of the London 2012 Festival

Road to 2012: Aiming High
, Bookshop Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, London

19 July-23 September 2012

Admission Free 

-          A display of portraits and stories of East London sports groups by photographer Katherine Green as part of the ‘Road to 2012: Aiming High’ exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery

An exhibition of striking new photographs of people from East London community groups who are working with the National Portrait Gallery opens on 19 July 2012 at the Gallery as part of the Road to 2012: Aiming High exhibition, in partnership with BT. The exhibition is part of the London 2012 Festival, the spectacular 12-week nationwide celebration running from 21 June until 9 September 2012 bringing together leading artists from across the world with the very best from the UK.

Exploring stories of inspiration, talent and team-work in four of the six east London Host Boroughs, Road to 2012: A Local Story features a selection of images and recordings of community groups. These include Repton Boxing Club in Bethnal Green, Docklands Sailing and Watersport Centre in the Isle of Dogs, Youngs Table Tennis Group in Abbey Wood, Lee Valley Riding Centre in Waltham Forest, East London Swimming Group in Hackney and the East London Wheelchair Athletics Group in Mile End and Blackheath Fencing club in Greenwich.

Documented by East-London photographer Katherine Green, Road to 2012: A Local Story highlights east London perspectives on the changing landscape and the impact of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games on the local environment. The exhibition shows young people and adults actively involved in community sport and social groups in the boroughs of Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest and Greenwich.

Road to 2012: A Local Story is a participation strand of the National Portrait Gallery/BT Road to 2012 Project and complements the Road to 2012: Aiming High exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. While some of the portraits were seen at Road to 2012: A Local Story in the View Tube near the Olympic Park last summer, several are seen at the National Portrait Gallery for the first time.

Born in East London, UK in 1974. Katherine Green studied postgraduate photography at Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, London and fine art at Surrey Institute of Art & Design. Her work has been published in ‘The Guardian’, ‘The Independent’ and ‘Time Out’ and she has had solo shows in London and across the UK. She currently has a touring exhibition called 1948 Olympians and a publication of the same title being published by crowd-funding publishers Unbound ( She has self-published two books, ‘Wood Street, E17’ and ‘Last Days at the Dogs’. Katherine’s work often focuses on documenting communities through photography and oral history, exploring what community means to different people.

In addition to the community groups featured in this exhibition, Road to 2012: A Local Story has also workedwith the Royal London Society for the Blind in Tower Hamlets, Branches homeless shelter in Waltham Forest, London Fields Lido in Hackney, Blackheath Fencing club in Greenwich and Ashton-Mansfield community centre in Newham.


Road to 2012: A Local Story
Bookshop Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, London
Admission Free, The National Portrait Gallery/BP Road to 2012 project

Katherine Green will be talking about her work at the Gallery on Friday 21 September at 7.30. Admission free.


Road to 2012 aims to capture just some of the tremendous skills and expertise responsible for making and staging the Olympic and Paralympics Games. It aims to encourage people locally and across the country to share their own stories of the journey towards the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and contribute to a creative archive by uploading photographs to the National Portrait Gallery website. The website also features interviews with athletes, photographers and more community stories.

For further press information please contact: Neil Evans, Press Office, National Portrait Gallery. Tel: 020 7312 2452 (not for publication), Email: [email protected]

To download press images, please visit the press website:

All images credit ©Katherine Green – National Portrait Gallery/BT Road to 2012 Project

For press information on BT London 2012 Projects please contact: Digby Halsby, Flint Public RelationsTel: 020 3463 2082 Email: [email protected]

For BT press information please contact the BT Group Newsroom on its 24-hour number: 020 7356 5369. From outside the UK dial + 44 20 7356 5369. All news releases can be accessed at our web site:

National Portrait Gallery, St Martin’s Place, WC2H 0HE opening hours: Saturday-Wednesday: 10am – 6pm (Gallery closure commences at 5.50pm) Late Opening: Thursday, Fridays:10am - 9pm (Gallery closure commences at 8.50pm) Recorded information: 020 7312 2463 General information: 020 7306 0055 Website:


Information about the organisations featured in the display:

Docklands Sailing and Watersports Centre, Isle of Dogs

The charity delivers affordable water sports sessions to the local community, focussing particularly on underprivileged young people, disabled people and those with special needs.

Greenwich Table Tennis Group, Abbey Wood

The group play regular tournaments, working with young people and adults to encourage the participation of table tennis.

Repton Boxing Club, Bethnal Green

The club grew out of Repton Boys Club, which was established in 1884 by Repton Public School as a way of giving support and encouragement to the young men in one of the country's poorest communities. Boxers such as John H Stracey, Audley Harrison, Maurice Hope, Gary Barker, Sylvester Mitte and Tony Cesay have trained here.

East London Wheelchair Athletics Club Newham, Mile End

The group deliver an extensive programme of sessions for children, young people and adults who are disabled. Sessions are delivered at Mile End Leisure Centre.

Lee Valley Riding Centre, Waltham Forest set in the surroundings of Lee Valley regional park, it provides accessible riding classes for children, young people and adults.

Blackheath Fencing Club is based in Blackheath high School and provides weekly training sessions for children, young people and adults.

The East London Swimming Group delivers intensive training sessions for young people wanting to excel in swimming.

About BT
BT is one of the world’s leading providers of communications solutions and services, operating in more than 170 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to our customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband and internet products and services and converged fixed/mobile products and services. BT consists principally of four lines of business: BT Global Services, Openreach, BT Retail and BT Wholesale.

BT is proud to be the official communications services partner for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

In the year ended 31 March 2011, BT Group’s revenue was £20,076 million with profit before taxation of £1,717 million.

British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.

For more information, visit

About the Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival

The London 2012 Cultural Olympiad is the largest cultural celebration in the history of the modern Olympic and Paralympic Movements. Spread over four years, it is designed to give everyone in the UK a chance to be part of London 2012 and inspire creativity across all forms of culture, especially among young people.

The culmination of the Cultural Olympiad is the London 2012 Festival, the spectacular 12-week nationwide celebration bringing together artists from across the world with the very best from the UK, from Midsummer’s Day on 21 June and running until the final day of the Paralympic Games on 9 September 2012. The London 2012 Festival celebrates the huge range, quality and accessibility of the UJK’s world-class culture including dance, music, theatre, the visual arts, fashion, film, comedy and digital innovation, giving the opportunity for people across the UK to celebrate the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Principal funders of the Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival are Arts Council England, Legacy Trust UK and the Olympic Lottery Distributor. BP and BT are Premier Partners of the Cultural Olympiad and the London 2012 Festival.

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