A woman stands next to a wig stall on Petticoat Lane Market, in East London. Thought to be taken sometime in the 1960s, the black and white photograph has a slightly surreal quality to it. Two faces stare blankly at us – the stall-holder and mannequin head above, both demanding the viewers’ attention. Petticoat Lane is one of the oldest markets in Britain, and is found on Wentworth Street and Middlesex Street in the Spitalfields area of London.
Petticoat Lane Market, East End, London
Original: Photograph, gelatin silver print on paper 35.4 x 29 cm Tate Gift Eric and Louise Franck London Collection 2013. © Dorothy Bohm
Dorothy Bohm (born 1924) is a London based photographer, working in street photography and portraiture. She lived in Lithuania until the age of 15, when her Jewish-Lithuanian family sent her to England to escape Nazism. She studied photography at Manchester Municipal College of Technology and the City and Guilds of London Art School. After setting up her own portrait studio, she moved onto street photography, with she practised internationally. Now respected as one of the most important figures in British photography, Bohm has said that her chosen medium, the photograph, ‘fulfils my deep need to stop things from disappearing’.