Book Review: Nick Turnip's On the Night Bus
By Peru McCarra
In his earnest attempt to capture the transitional time period of London commuters, street photographer Nick Turpin indubitably narrates the fragile experience of travelers leaving work and returning home in his book, On the Night Bus. Though the time frame occurs when a person is at their most exhausted, possibly disheveled state, Turpin upholds their dignity, capturing his subjects in delicate images reminiscent of traditional paintings. Utilizing the overcast and winter season, the photographs are distinct with the allure of the steamed windows. The wet windows of the buses in the evening allude to the idea that he has captured impressionist images. The vulnerable facial expressions of the people are dramatized even more through the window view. In some photographs, the commuters resemble biblical figures in historical paintings, with their pensive, or stern moods, and their winter coats mirroring the cloaks of religious figures. The elegant and moody poses delineate the conflicted feelings the commuters experience transitioning their roles. They must leave the expectations of work life and now follow the expectations of home life. Over the three years, even though the subjects clearly withstand the perils of a late commute, loud noise and crowds, the expressions still retain a sense of calm. They are surrendering to their day, with all of its chaos, trials, or triumphs.
Continuing with his excellent style of seizing the moment, Turpin’s images are complimented with fellow street photographers in his collective group he founded in 2000, called In-Public. His works can be viewed side by side with superior international street artists such as Vivien Maier, Matt Weber, and Narelle Autio.