To accompany his forthcoming solo exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery, London, Trolley announces the publication of "Double Dactyl" by Nick Waplington. One of Britain's leading contemporary photographers Waplington first came to public notice with "Living Room" (1991), a photographic portrait based on the everyday lives of two close-knit working class families in Nottingham. Presented as an exhibition and publication, it employed a subjective snapshot aesthetic with an observational quality that matched postwar Mass-Observation projects. Since then, reluctant to adopt a signature style, Waplington has photographed his life and close circle of friends and family in East London - where he lives and works - while also referencing the grand traditions of history painting and landscape photography.Often presenting his work in book form, "You Love Life", published by Trolley in 2005, brought together key elements of his practice: seemingly casual images of friends and lovers at home or at festivals, parties and street demonstrations, juxtaposed with more carefully composed, formal representations of the banal small details that make up everyday life.
Recently Waplington has been exploring notions of photographic "reality" by working with constructed and manipulated images taken from medium format photographs. For the Whitechapel exhibition, he has created a special installation which continues this investigation, leading from the interior of the gallery out into the streets of Whitechapel.The new publication will contain images of his projects of recent times, includingscenes of British seaside and youth, as well as incorporating the idea of image manipulation. The title "Double Dactyl" is derived from the word meaning a name of two words which have three syllables each. The relation of this with his work is enigmatically left unanswered by Waplington, although the name Nicholas Waplington is doubledectal in form. We are left to our own conclusions that this new body of work with its extra dimension of manipulation, is still part of Waplington's idiosynchratic approach to contemporary photographic practice.