Monday, 23 June 2008

Around Manchester

Saturday In Manchester

I was over in Manchester Saturday working around Victoria Station and Strangeways Prison. Compared to other visits I found this one of the least productive in my eyes anyway. I felt like I was constantly stopping and starting and struggling in vain to find any trace of where Sebald had been. Compared to the area around Salford and Castlefields this had greater pockets of space left undisturbed and in a state of ruin. The weather was a typical Manchester day with non stop rain so perhaps this added to my state of mind.

Saturday, 21 June 2008

Victoria Station & Strangeways Prison

Today in Manchester I will be working around Victoria Station and Strangeways Prison which I think will perhaps take the work in another direction to that of last week.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Friday, 13 June 2008


Manchester: Further Exploration

I plan on working in Manchester over the weekend exploring Salford Quays and the area around Victoria Station and Strangeways prison. I will post the photos up at the end of the weekend as well as some more from previous visits.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Castlefield Basin

My initial visit to Manchester for research was around the Castlefield Basin area. This was a decision made for two reasons:
1. Sebald mentions the area around Great Bridgewater Street
2. This is the only part of Manchester Ship Canal that I was familiar with having photographed it for another project.

It's safe to say I did not really know what I was looking for just that I wanted the initial experience of walking and exploring that area. Following instincts and recording images and feelings that arose whilst around the area.

W.G Sebald: The Immigrants

Ruinous Recollections has provided me with the opportunity to explore the work of W.G Sebald and the relationship between text, image and location as explored in 'The Immigrants'.

A brief background to my work as an artist is necessary here as I completed a Master of Arts at Manchester Metropolitan University in October 2007 and my practice involved the exploration and documentation of sites in a state of abandonment. Sites I explored in Manchester included Barnes Hospital and the Old Police & Fire Station at Piccadilly as well as sites in Leeds my town of residence.

It is with this background that I felt I could relate to Sebald and his relationship with Manchester as it would be a place he would 'inhabit' 'abandon' and 'return' to on a number of occasions. It is this very notion of repeat visits that I will use as the basis of my work as I live and work in Leeds so will need to continually abandon and return to Manchester.

The nature of my documentations of sites of memory is primarily photographic but the techniques I adopt emphasize the notion of 'trace' as I often use Pin Hole photography to capture the light that animates these places.
Through this exploration I will uncover the traces of existence and
ghostly remnants of preserved memory. Formulating methods of practice,
which represent the experience and atmosphere of these sites. Often adding
extra layers of palimpsestuous reading to my artefacts by using time-
based pinhole camera techniques and by producing spectral fragmented screen
prints of the images she captures.

Previous sites of exploration include Barnes Hospital and the former police
and fire station at Piccadilly, Manchester.

“As an image-maker I am able to control the documented 'encounters' whilst
allowing the space to be the overall controlling factor of my experience”.

Re-tracing the footsteps of Sebald, I will add my own memories and
fictions to the city. The relationship between author, text and reader been
exposed through the work and experiences produced.

Ruinous Recollections

A few months ago I was invited to work on 'Ruinous Recollections' which is an art project established by two Manchester-based curators, Darien Jane Rozentals and Robert Knifton. "Taking multiple stories of the city as its start point, it will create works that etch memories into Manchester's urban canvas, re-imagining and adding layers to an already fluid city".

At present I am one of five artists who are involved in the project and are working on the initial research and proposals. The accumulation of this will be an exhibition of the work in progress to be shown at the Upper Space Gallery in Manchester from Friday 27th June 2008.