The Con Club: A Celebration of Community in Julian Ward’s Project
Lives in London. Has been doing photography for more than 10 years. Studied photography at London College of Communication. Winner of Magenta Foundation Flash Forward Award 2006 and participant of Royal Photographic Society International Print Exhibition 158 in 2015.
I moved to Teddington, South West London nearly 4 years ago and knew very little of the area. I passed the club on a daily basis and was intrigued by the traditional events advertised on the outside boards. Bingo, Tea dances, Elvis nights to name a few. It advertised 3 snooker tables, which I was also keen to explore. Snooker was a Wednesday night event when I lived at home and my late father, brother and I would play at the local club. The exterior of 'The Con Club' and the idea of a snooker room reminded me of this and I was drawn in to investigate. The project began as an exploration into my new surroundings and a search for familiarity.
Most people are open to the camera although some people have asked not to be photographed when I have shot certain events.
The club itself is home to many different and diverse community groups.
It’s a celebration of community and explores values of tradition, identity, culture and heritage.
I’ve been photographing the people and the events at the club for 3 years. As I edit the images I often find new threads in the work, which encourages me to keep going, so for now its ongoing.
I have been taking dancing lessons at one of the afternoon Tea dances with a woman called Freda as she didn’t have a partner. More embarrassing for me, but funny for the other dancers, as I made a terrible partner for the waltz. Freda let me photograph her dancing but I’m still working on a portrait of her.