The English in the Spotlight: unseen work by British photographer Peter Dench

A man with his pint rests on the grass at Royal Ascot. June 2017. All photography courtesy of Peter Dench. © Peter Dench

A collection of previously unpublished work entitled ‘The English Summer Season’ by renowned British photographer Peter Dench is to go on show this April.

Taken over the last two summers, Peter has captured the spirit of typically English sporting events, such as Henley Royal Regatta, Cartier Polo, Epsom and Royal Ascot, which are now frequented each year by characters from all echelons of society. The humorous work portrays the eccentricities, colourful personalities and outrageous antics of spectators enjoying the generous hospitality on offer.

"The events I’ve portrayed were once the preserve of the rich upper classes, but through the years, have become open to a much broader audience," says Peter. "The rules of society have been rewritten. With this reportage, my intention is to capture the humour, the entertainment and the downright craziness of the scenes I have encountered in a light-hearted but truthful manner."

Throughout his 20 year career, Peter has become a widely recognised name thanks to his distinctive narrative and documentary photography shot in numerous countries around the world, with a particular focus on the quirks and behaviour of the English at home.

Achievements include a World Press Photo Award in the People in the News Stories Category for the reportage, Drinking of England, and participation in the World Press Joop Swart Masterclass. Football’s Hidden Story, a FIFA sponsored project comprising 26 stories across 20 different countries documenting the positive impact that football has had at a grassroots level, received six global accolades.

‘The English Summer Season’ by Peter Dench will be held from Tuesday 30 April to Friday 28 June 2019 at the Wex Photo Video Gallery in London E1, with free entry.

An elderly gentleman in formal attire sat on the grass watching the horse racing from The Queen's Stand during the Epsom festival. June 2018 © Peter Dench

An elderly gentleman in formal attire sat on the grass watching the horse racing from The Queen's Stand during the Epsom festival. June 2018 © Peter Dench

Race goers carry on drinking at the after party on Ladies Day at Epsom. June 2018 © Peter Dench

Race goers carry on drinking at the after party on Ladies Day at Epsom. June 2018 © Peter Dench

A young woman smokes a cigarette straddled across a man's lap on Ladies Day at Epsom. June 2017 © Peter Dench

A young woman smokes a cigarette straddled across a man's lap on Ladies Day at Epsom. June 2017 © Peter Dench

A giant bottle of rosé wine is poured for a guest at a picnic at the Royal Enclosure's Car Park One on Ladies Day at Royal Ascot. June 2018 © Peter Dench

A giant bottle of rosé wine is poured for a guest at a picnic at the Royal Enclosure's Car Park One on Ladies Day at Royal Ascot. June 2018 © Peter Dench

VIP guests socialise and in the Cartier marquee at the Queen's Cup Final played at the Guards Polo Club, Windsor Great Park. June 2017 © Peter Dench

VIP guests socialise and in the Cartier marquee at the Queen's Cup Final played at the Guards Polo Club, Windsor Great Park. June 2017 © Peter Dench

A crew wearing their club colours at the Henley Royal Regatta, a rowing event held annually on the River Thames. June 2017 © Peter Dench

A crew wearing their club colours at the Henley Royal Regatta, a rowing event held annually on the River Thames. June 2017 © Peter Dench

A woman in an extravagantly decorated hat looks out across the parade ring on Ladies Day at Royal Ascot. June 2018 © Peter Dench

A woman in an extravagantly decorated hat looks out across the parade ring on Ladies Day at Royal Ascot. June 2018 © Peter Dench