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Salford, Manchester has always been a particularly hard hit area by poverty, lack of engagement, education and general well being. However with the growth of MediaCity the area has become known for the northern hub of high earning creatives and media. Against a backdrop of the lowest national rates of life standards the idea of accessibility's blocked by the inherent financial and education struggles of the local residents.
Christmas Eve 2020
As 2020 was drawing to an end I was thinking about how much time I had spent away from family and friends and how the restrictions on gatherings and meetings was affecting not only myself but everyone throughout the country. I took the time to experience some of the festiveness of Christmas that I missed by not being able to gather with loved ones by vicariously enjoying the displays of my neighbours. I found it interesting how each household celebrates in different ways yet how similar the message is across all homes.
You're Always Welcome Here
Throughout Salford there are symbols of movement and freedom, opportunity and potential yet the city is plagued by it's leading levels of poverty, unemployment and in-education. The only places with true accessibility are the sites of gambling, homelessness and control.
1 Hour of Lockdown
Throughout 2020 the only opportunity to leave home was for the 1 hour exercise limit per day. in that time I decided to proactively create, to record and muse over the now strange sights of normality.
Street photography has been around since the inception of photography as a medium. It's a genre of work that I enjoy both researching and creating as it presents us with a vision of everyday life otherwise unseen and unknown. whenever I'm not working on a commission or project I like to soak up the atmosphere of my home city Manchester looking for the sights and scenes which epitomise what it means to be Mancunian.
The Dog Walker
This collection of images was short introduction to a longer term project, that of documenting the people I see whilst out walking my dog. I chose this subject as it's one of the few forms of activity that has been viable during the covid-19 lockdown restrictions. A small opportunity to connect with other people who share an interest and pastime with little risk. Each person shares a similar space in the world and sometimes similar stories yet despite being part of the social collective of being dog owners and walkers they each have distinct taste, experiences, preferences and outlooks.
(Vicarious) Self Portrait
An exploration of the meaning of self and the ‘Portrait’ Through this set of images I hope to capture the concept of the portrait being more a reflection of the artist than an insight to the subject. The portrait is a result of many decisions made by the photographer, those decisions tainted by their observations, pre-conceptions and agenda. At some point the product of those decisions is more the interpretation of the photographer than the representation of the subject. The ability to manipulate and alter the image leaves us open to believing someone looks or even acts a certain way. Photographers can create masks, beauty or deceit. In many ways photographers are, through their subject, taking a self portrait albeit vicariously.
1 Day in Lockdown
A collection of images intended to capture the 'unseen' effects of isolation on the 'unseen' individual living alone.
This is Not a Photograph of a Policeman
‘This is Not a Photograph of a Policeman’ Saturday 19th September 2020, four days prior to the introduction of stricter restrictions of the gathering of people and opening hours of hospital venues during the resurgence of Covid-19 infections. How do people react when presented with information outside of their everyday routine? Do they stop and examine, turn away and ignore, carry on unaware or destroy it? At 10am Manchester interacted with a cardboard policeman carrying a bundle of deflated latex gloves and a message of ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’. At 11.15am it was removed by Arndale Security assisted by a homeless man. I don’t know whether I should be annoyed by its short life or worried it lasted so long.
A Search for Juba, Lost In Royton
By no means the first, but possibly the most documented, enslaved man in the Lancashire and Greater Manchester area Juba Royton is notable for his few but unique appearances in local and national records. These dates are merely records of occasions in his life, no images of him, no history before his arrival in Oldham and no indication to the type of man he was beyond what the records infer.