Matthew Chattle title

Distance Photos of Matthew Chattle

These are short interviews with designers, manufacturers, artists, and residents who use the tiny bits of urbanity we generally call street furniture. This interview was conducted over email and edited for clarity.

I am a photographer and educator with over 30 years of experience. I’ve worked in lots of different genres, from book publishing editorial work, to photo abstraction/illustration and for the last 10 years in news/editorial photography.

As a news photographer I’m going around London a lot, especially in the last six weeks as lockdown has eased a bit. I use my iPhone as a snapshot camera all the time and I became aware of the social distancing pavement signs and for a bit of light relief from news I started taking pictures of them. This just developed into a series as I realised how many there are. It’s important to record this period in different ways, the signs are meant for us to stand on/near them so it was logical to include my feet and look straight down. I like the work of Bernd and Hilla Becher and always found that interesting.

In addition they are ephemeral and not permanent, not only do they wear away but eventually they’ll be gone for good so it’s important to record them now before that happens.

I have been surprised about the variety of signs, it seems like every shop has a different design. 

Photo by @chattphoto

I believe that cities lack pedestrian areas, and due to the pandemic there will be more pedestrianisation, and we will have more space.

My favorite piece of street furniture is the red postbox we have in the UK!

Royal Mail Pillar Box by Typology.city

Thank you to Matthew Chattle for your time, you can see more of his photography and his instagram account at @chattphoto.

More Interviews


Subscribe to Field Notes via email

Enter your email address to subscribe to the Field Notes and Specimens Pages, to receive them by email.


Recent Entries