‘Their soul is in their work’: images of a Croydon community and the businesses that sustain it

By - Wednesday 6th August, 2014

An exhibition of photographs by Dorin Spoiala captures the working life of a neighbourhood in central Croydon

Ali, son of the owner of the Newros Grill.
Photo by Dorin Spoiala, used with permission.

Dorin Spoiala (whose full name is Ion Dorinel) is originally from Romania, where he owned and ran a print shop. This awakened his interest in those living the same life of small business ownership – the people who make a local community economically stable and successful.

His interest in photography is of long standing, and he also worked in a studio in his home country before coming to England to study four years ago, supporting himself here by working as a waiter. Once qualified he intends to make a living as a photographer; he is setting up a business and starting to get his first commissions for weddings.

Dorin wants a ‘total project’ – an area of work where he possesses every skill from the creative vision of the photographer to the technical processes of printing and production. His fascination with those who are similarly hands-on (for as any small business proprietor will tell you, this way of working means doing everything, from business development strategy to changing the lightbulbs) led him to the idea of capturing a working day in his locality for his Croydon College City and Guilds Level 3 photography portfolio.

The result is an intriguing series of studies of people in their workplaces in a cluster of streets around Cherry Orchard Road, St James’s Road and Morland Road on the border of Central Croydon and Addiscombe. As Dorin puts it: ‘I was surprised by the diversity here, and by all the stories of the businesses – the family stories of those who have their soul in their work’.

You can see Dorin Spoiala’s photographs at the ClickClock Gallery, Katharine Street, Croydon CR9 from Monday 4th August to Saturday 16th August. The exhibition is free of charge.

See the gallery below for more of Dorin’s photos:

All photos in this gallery by Dorin Spoiala, used with permission.

Liz Sheppard-Jones

Liz Sheppard-Jones

Writer and editor. Views personal, not representative of editorial policy.

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