So my final few days of studying Photography at the University of Chester have arrived. Really excited to be putting my exhibition together, as well as feeling very stressed. All my three years of hard work go towards my final degree show, I can't believe how fast time has gone by, feels like yesterday I was starting first year! I've learnt so much during my three year studying here, met some amazing people and been incredibly inspired by them. While everyone is feeling stressed and worried, there's a real sense of community and support at the moment and it's such a nice feeling to have everything coming together. I am definitely going to miss being part of such a great community of creative people.
Here's a preview of one of my books that will feature in my degree show. This book is completely hand made by me, from creating the screen printed title to the hardback cover, I've had full control of the output of this book.
Within the book are the images I created at the beginning of the year within the project, Dislocation. It's focus is primarily on the way in which the city's surfaces reflect and collide elements of the city and dislocates them from their original contexts.
I have also created another book to accompany this one, entitled City Unknown, which features images taken from my main body of work for my major photography project. The books all follow a similar format, keeping a strong visual identity. I absolutely love making my own books, the process is lengthy, but it's so rewarding to see your hardwork put together in a lovely hardback book.
What is public space actually? Just because we can roam freely in the space, doesn't necessarily make it public. Most of the spaces in the city are actually private property, which give the illusion that it is public space. Where are we allowed to roam freely? Is anywhere really public space?
The question of what is public space and what is private land features heavily throughout my practice. I often get security guards approaching me and asking me if I have permission to photograph there, even though this space is built for members of the public. What effect do the boundaries of the city have on the way we use and inhabit it? Is the space really public? Do we have right of way?
The floodlights throughout the city remind me of stage lights, illuminating the space even when the characters are absent.
So exciting to watch the development of Storyhouse, which is due to open in May 2017.
This afternoon, I spent some time looking for the many shapes that make up the city's spaces on a particularly miserable and overcast day in Liverpool. The city's surfaces provide an altered way of viewing the many shapes, forms and structure within the contemporary spaces of the city.
Over the next few years, Chester will be going through a huge re-development phase. It will see a whole area of Chester be knocked down and then re-developed to make room for a new hotel, a department store, a restaurant quarter, shops and apartments. I think it's important as a local photographer to document this area before it is destroyed and re-developed so that in the future, I am able to reflect on the drastic changes made in Chester city centre. The photographs above are taken in the area that is proposed for the re-development scheme, depicting the different spaces that are soon to be abandoned and destroyed.
More Information about the Northgate Development plans can be found here.
Views of the illuminated interior, from the darkened exterior.
An absent presence, left behind by city workers.
After having a little break from the city, I felt the best way to get back into it would be to experiment with shooting the city streets at night. These photographs all feature spaces that surround Chester train station, a busy part of the city with a constant flow of activity.
I love the city, so much so I really wanted to see how different the environment was on Christmas Day. While Christmas dinner was cooking, I had a little walk through the city centre, where I was able to appreciate the city in one of my favourite ways, devoid of any human presence. All the shops, cafes and restaurants are closed and the city is transformed into a ghost town where all you can hear is the Christmas lights tapping together in the wind, and the odd apartment playing Christmas songs. I definitely prefer the city this way.
The old and the new combined, where modern offices are merged with old terraced houses.