The reasons for a city dweller to exercise can be manifold. At the basic level, people just wish to ‘stay healthy’, keep their mind clear and perhaps even live a longer life. For the young professional, exercise might just be the key to gaining that extra advantage over their competitors or colleagues – in most cases though, appearing ‘better’ often seems good enough. Then there are the athletes, who do lap after lap of the city and regularly frequent it’s gyms.
Amongst this plethora of exercisers, photographer Kevin Davies has taken a particular interest in those who use London’s parks as their personal training ground. For this project Exercise, which he started 5 years ago and is still ongoing, Davies chose Hyde Park, a favourite of his as a boy growing up in London, to document his fascination.
“In a crowded, sometimes claustrophobic city, the sense of space is a relief,” says Davies. “Over a period of time I became fascinated by seeing people exercising because to me it looked so odd. In the context of a gym it doesn’t, but visually, using a tree stump as a bench, looks quite surreal.
“After experimenting (and a few people shouting at me) I settled on a wider view of the environment, with the subject lost in the exercise they were performing.”