• Metropole by Lewis Bush
  • Metropole by Lewis Bush
  • Metropole by Lewis Bush
  • Metropole by Lewis Bush
  • Metropole by Lewis Bush
  • Metropole by Lewis Bush
  • Metropole by Lewis Bush
  • Metropole by Lewis Bush
  • Metropole by Lewis Bush
  • Metropole by Lewis Bush
  • Metropole by Lewis Bush
  • Metropole by Lewis Bush
  • Metropole by Lewis Bush
  • Metropole by Lewis Bush
  • Metropole by Lewis Bush
  • Metropole by Lewis Bush
  • Metropole by Lewis Bush
  • Metropole by Lewis Bush

Lewis Bush


Metropole documents the brutal uprooting of London’s foundations at the hands of corporate developers, for the benefit of wealthy investors and absentee property speculators. In the wake of aggressive high-end development, genuinely affordable housing has diminished and residents of London are pushed ever further out from the core. Bush takes a psychogeographical approach to photographing the city’s evolving urban landscape and presents extensive research behind 28 major developments — including the property developers behind these schemes and their use of opaque offshore financial structures and political lobbying.

FIRST EDITION Trade Softcover, 20 x 28 cm portrait, 160 pages
Swiss binding with exposed orange thread; mixed papers; silver foil on cover; 12 inserts
40 b+w and 40 colour photographs
Afterword and 28 texts documenting London developments
Published September 2018 | ISBN: 9780994791979


Once known as the Metropole, London was the mother city at the heart of a vast empire which at its peak encompassed a quarter of all land on the planet. Its maternal name belied a profoundly hierarchical and unequal relationship with power radiating outwards from the urban heart, and territorial riches feeding back in return. The British Empire has long since collapsed but in its place has risen a new world power; globalised capitalism. London — rebranded an 'investment opportunity' — is now a city of continuous demolition, shifting cranes, and glittering new high rises.

Photographed over dozens of winter nights spent wandering through the escalating city, Metropole records the dizzying effects of a capital influx on London. The frameworks of luxury residential towers are documented during construction, and the use of double exposures layers building upon building. This proliferating tangle mirrors the threatening scale of alteration in the city. Perspective and orientation are lost in the process, emulating the sense of loss that many Londoners now feel.

Designed by Tom Mrazauskas

The Author

Lewis Bush is a photographer, writer, researcher, and educator. His work aims to draw attention to clandestine power structures that operate unchecked in the world. Previous books include Shadows of the State (2018), War Primer 3 (2013), and In the Memory of History (2012). In autumn 2018 Lewis completed a photographic residency at the Société Jersiaise in Jersey, focusing on international finance and the implications of Brexit. His work has been nominated and shortlisted for commendations including for the Tim Hetherington Visionary Award (2018 & 2017), Rencontres d’Arles Book Dummy Awards (2018, 2016 & 2015), Magenta Foundation Flash Forward Award (2017), Self-Publish Riga Award (2016), Photo España Book Awards (2016), and the Bar Tur Photobook Award (2015 & 2014).


Reviews + Press

“The images shine in the night time as beacons of development, breathing power, certainty, wealth; an oppressive power which is ready to swallow all who are not equipped to be part of it.”Lina Manousogiannaki, Urbanautica

“Bush expertly uses the double exposure so that you can still see what you’re looking at, but it looks off, like a futuristic dystopian city that could be anywhere in the world.”Katharine Schwab, Fast Company

See more
Review by James Cockroft
Review in SOURCE magazine, Spring 2019
Feature in New Internationalist, “How finance capital ruined London”
Feature in Fast Company, “These photos capture the eeriness of the luxury condo racket”
Review on Urbanautica, by Lina Manousogiannaki
Interview with Museum of London
Interview with LCC
Guillotine lifestyle online (FR)

Special Notes

* Selected for Exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A): Known and Strange: Photographs from the Collection (6 November 2021 – 6 November 2022)
* The Maribor Photobook Award 2020, Honorable Mention
* Selected for Athens Photo Festival 2019 Photobook Exhibition at Benaki Museum 13 June – 28 July 2019
* IACK’s Choice Photobooks of 2018
* Beyond Words bookshop Customer favourites of 2018

Exhibitions + Events Archive
Dark is the night: in conversation, Friday 9 November 2018, 6.30pm at Museum of London
With a panel chaired by Lewis Bush, this talk will explore the darker side of London at night.

Work from Metropole exhibited in theLondon Nights at the Museum of London – Until 11 Nov 2018

Metropole is held in the following collections:
AGO Edward P. Taylor Library & Archives (Toronto, CA)
The British Library (UK)
Central Institute for Art History, Library (Munich, DE)
École Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie (Arles, FR)
Hellenic Centre for Photography (Athens, GR)
London College of Communication (Elephant & Castle, UK)
The National Art Library at the V&A (London, UK)
National Library of Scotland (Edinburgh, UK)
Bodleian Libraries University of Oxford (UK)
Cambridge University Library (UK)
National Library of Wales
Library of Trinity College Dublin (IE)
San Telmo Museum – The Gabriela Cendoya Bergareche Collection (ES)
Saxon State Library – Dresden State and University Library (DE)
University of the Arts London (UK)