Tuesday evening saw the official opening of Art Bermondsey Project Space, supported by Olympus. This non-commercial venue will provide a platform to encourage a fusion of photography, art and culture. It features three galleries over three floors that will stage an on-going programme of events and exhibitions, bringing together visual art across a wide range of media.

Mark Thackara, Olympus National Marketing Manager said “We are really pleased to support the Art Bermondsey Project Space. This association is part of a wider programme that includes involvement in fashion, design and visual arts in general. The venue not only allows us to showcase established and emerging talent but also provides an excellent base for workshops, talks and events. Added to that, we plan community outreach and education activity with some of our exceptional photographers. Our mission is to showcase art and design in the UK and encourage new talent in photography and beyond.”

Kicking off the programme was an exhibition by award winning photojournalist Peter Dench. ‘Dench does Dallas’ was an Olympus commission featuring photographs of one of America’s most iconic cities which Peter visited armed only with the OM-D E-M5 Mark II. For a cameraman used to lugging a heavy DSLR on assignments, this was a daunting challenge; not only to be thrust into an unknown city but with a piece of technology he had no experience of.
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Photographs by Dafydd Jones.

He needn’t have worried. Dench said: “It made me a better photographer. I was inspired to explore more intensely; I paid greater attention to the movement of light and tightened up my compositions. The lightweight camera and accessories saved me energy in sweltering conditions and its performance gave me the confidence to discard the flash in many low light situations. I was excited to point the camera at people and people wanted the camera pointed at them.”

Dench’s journey took him through the vast urban landscape capturing the colour and characters he met along the way. His forensic eye, revealed a place far removed from the fantasies of film and television; a contrasting metroplex of baseball caps and cowboy hats, horsepower and horses.

DENCH DOES DALLAS, the book and accompanying exhibition, is a saturated slap about the senses, a sideways glance at a fully loaded, remarkable American territory. The exhibition runs until 7th November 2015, is free to view and will be open 11am to 6pm Monday to Friday, Saturday 11am to 4pm.