Press Release: Road to 2012 : A Local Story

Press Release

Tuesday 26 July 2011

The National Portrait Gallery/BT Road to 2012 Project
In partnership with BT

View Tube, Pudding Mill Lane, Stratford, London
27 July-2 October 2011

Admission Free
Open daily 9am-5pm

-          An exhibition of portraits and stories of East London community groups by photographer Katherine Green to complement the ‘Road to 2012: Changing Pace’ 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 July 27 2011 at the View Tube, a café and arts space close to the Olympic Park.

Exploring stories of inspiration, talent and team-work in the five Olympic 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 and the East London Wheelchair Athletics Club in Mile End.

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 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, Newham 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 recently opened Road to 2012: Changing Pace at the National Portrait Gallery.

Katherine Green is a photographer, born in East London, UK in 1974. Katherine 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’, ‘Time Out’ and ‘The Big Issue’ and she has had solo shows in London and Wolverhampton. 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.

Alongside the exhibition, the National Portrait Gallery is running a series of photography masterclasses on Saturdays at the View Tube with high-profile photographers involved in the National Portrait Gallery/BT Road to 2012 Project. These free workshops open to all will focus on portrait photography using the Olympic Stadium as the backdrop. The photographers leading the workshops are Brian Griffin, Bettina von Zwehl, Emma Hardy and Katherine Green.

Helen Whiteoak, Head of Participation, National Portrait Gallery, London, says: ‘Working with participants from East London community groups and capturing their perspectives on the impact of London 2012 to their local area is an extremely vital and exciting aspect of the Road to 2012 project. Working in partnership with the View Tube to showcase these recordings alongside documentary photography of the participants by Katherine Green, the location of the exhibition in the shadow of the Olympic Stadium provides the ideal setting for community reflections of hope and aspiration.’

The View Tube is a vibrant cafe and arts space that look directly over the Olympic Park and has impressive close-up views of the Stadium, Anish Kapoor’s Orbit, and the Aquatics Centre. It is the best place in London to see the constantly changing landscape of the park and includes bicycle hire, an artist garden and social events.

The Gallery’s partnership with the View Tube is the perfect setting for Road to 2012: A Local Story. Visitors will be able to see the exhibition of photographs of local community groups and listen to their perspectives and reflections at an audiopost whilst looking out over the Olympic Park and seeing the construction and completion of the site.

In addition to the community groups featured in this exhibition, Road to 2012: A Local Story is also working with 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
At the View Tube, Stratford, E14 2PJ
Open daily 9.00 – 17.00
Tube: Pudding Mill Lane, 1 stop on the DLR from Stratford
Admission Free

Saturdays 11.00 – 13.00 at the View Tube
13 August – Brian Griffin  
27 August – Bettina von Zwehl
10 September – Emma Hardy
17 September – Katherine Green
Free. Open to all. All you need is a camera. Booking essential as space is limited. To book email:

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:

To download press images, please visit the press website:
All images credit ©Katherine Green – National Portrait Gallery/BT Road to 2012 project

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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 exhibition:

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.

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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.

Since the Cultural Olympiad started in 2008 11.2million people from across the UK have participated in or attended over 5,400 public performances as part of the Cultural Olympiad and programmes inspired by 2012 and funded by our principle funders and sponsors.

Over 67,000 people have attended 6,800 workshops as part of Cultural Olympiad programmes.

The culmination of the Cultural Olympiad will be the London 2012 Festival, bringing leading artists from all over the world together from 21 June 2012 in this UK-wide festival – a chance for everyone to celebrate London 2012 through dance, music, theatre, the visual arts, film and digital innovation and leave a lasting legacy for the arts in this country.

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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