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RETAIL RETOLD:
THE FACE OF THE HIGH STREET

An exhibition of 80 light boxes in 65 windows throughout Lewes.
Explore the exhibition using the interactive map below, or scroll down for more information.

(On mobile? Pinch to zoom in!)

                                                                            
1          Roundabout Dress Agency 
2          Alistair Fleming Design
3          Louis Potts & Company
4          Goldfinch’s Dry Cleaners
5          Lumen
6          The Outdoor Shop Lewes
7          Percy’s Fishing Tackle
8          Browns Hair & Beauty
9          Cycleshack
10       Harvey’s Brewery Shop
11       Harvey’s Brewery Shop
12       Harvey’s Brewery Shop
13       Wilson Wilson & Hancock
14       Waterstones
15       St Peter & St James Hospice
16       Lounge of Lewes
17       Boon Books
18       Luggage Etc. Lewes
19       Strutt & Parker
20       White Stuff
21       Freight HHG
22       Sussex Stationers
23       Closet & Botts
24       Barbican Carpets
25       Crew Clothing
26       SCDA
27       The Patch

                                                                            
28       Cooper & Son
29       H A Baker Ltd.
30       The Shoe Gallery
31       Cheese Please
32       Lewes Town Hall
33       Lewes Town Hall
34       Tourist Information Centre
35       Tourist Information Centre
37       Stanley & Partners
37       Stanley & Partners
38       Flint
39       Marchand Son
40       The Lewes Print Centre
41       The Lewes Print Centre
42       Self Storage Space
43       From Victoria
44       The Martlets Hospice Shop
45       The White Hart Hotel
46       The White Hart Hotel
47       Charles Wycherley
48       Kings Framers
49       St Peter & St James Hospice
50       St Peter & St James Hospice
51       Nationwide Building Society
52       Nationwide Building Society
53       The Laurels
54       Rowland Gorringe


55       Foundation Stage Forum Ltd.
56       Beckworths
57       British Heart Foundation
58       British Heart Foundation
59       Paul Clark Menswear
60       Marston Barrett Ltd.
61       Bonne Bouche
62       Balm
63       Independent Mortgage Matters
64       Independent Mortgage Matters
65       The Workshop
66       The Workshop
67       160 High Street
68       Edward Reeves Photography
69       Brats
70       Brats
71       The Guild of Master Craftsmen
72       The Guild of Master Craftsmen
73       The Brewers Arms
74       Edwards & Todd
75       The Tom Paine Printing Press
76       96 High Street
77       Baltica
78       Baltica
79       Baltica
80       Lewes Town Hall (exhibition title)

Retail Retold: The Face of the High Street

RETAIL RETOLD: THE FACE
OF THE HIGH STREET

An exhibition of 80 lightboxes installed in Lewes High Street showing photographs of the town and people of Lewes from 1860 to 1960 and accompanied by an online exhibition of recent photographs by Tom Reeves.

Established in 1855, Edward Reeves Photography is believed to be the oldest continuously operating photographic studio in the world. It houses an archive of over 250,000 glass plates as well as in excess of 400,000 images on film and in the form of digital files. With most of the original paperwork and account books still intact, this archive is a unique record of daily life in Lewes and the history of commercial photographic practice.

The Victorian daylight studio is still in daily use for contemporary  portraiture. With the preserved original backdrops and furniture,  it is also possible to recreate the images from over a century ago.

Retail Retold: The Face of the High Street

The 2020 Lightbox images also form part of an online exhibition and are accompanied by new portraits by Tom Reeves of the lightbox hosts: the businesspeople and residents of the High Street. The online exhibition enhances the experience of viewing the lightboxes in situ and is available to those unable to visit in person.

This lightbox exhibition was first shown in September 2019 and focuses on the importance of the High Street to the social and economic wellbeing of our community. The lockdown has only emphasised that message.

Digital technology has allowed us to make scans of the original glass plates which have revealed details of which the photographer himself would have been unaware at the time the picture was taken. These details give an insight into another way of life.

In 2019 we examined the way previous generations traded and shopped in more sustainable ways: local produce, no plastic packaging, lots of places to get things repaired. It shows how the High Street was a place for doing business, socialising and relaxing: the heart of community life.

In 2020, we are having to adapt to a changing environment. As more people work from home and shop locally, and there is less money to spend, it is vital that the High Street evolves to attract new shoppers so it can remain the bustling hub of the town.

Edward Reeves Archive

THE REEVES ARCHIVE PROJECT

Since 2014, the Reeves Archive Project has mounted annual exhibitions of lightboxes placed in windows up and down the streets of Lewes.

The exhibitions are curated by Brigitte Lardinois, Tania Osband and Tom Reeves. The Research project is led by Brigitte Lardinois, Director of the Photography and the Archive Research Centre at the London College of Communication, UAL.

Our website, reevesarchive.co.uk, contains more information on past exhibitions and future plans for the project. Many volunteers have come forward to help make this archive accessible and the exhibitions possible. We would like to acknowledge them: they transcribe the ledgers, research the stories behind the photographs, construct and install the light boxes. Should you be interested in joining the team please leave your name at the Edward Reeves Studio, 159 High Street or email us.


Special thanks go to all the light box hosts and our many sponsors and supporters.

This exhibition is dedicated to the memory of Lynda Moquet.


Exhibition curated by Brigitte Lardinois, Tania Osband and Tom Reeves
Online exhibition curated and created by Isaac Reeves @ isaacreeves.com
Exhibition assistant - David Bagnall
Exhibition design - Dean Pavitt @ pavittandpavitt.co.uk
Exhibition printing - Duncan Woolgar @ dnaphotoimaging.com