This is the inspiration behind the creative work of three local photographers who have spent the last decade exploring urban places, either abandoned and dilapidated or bustling with human activity.
Over the years, Steven Parker, James Drury and Roger Pate have learned that these places create opportunities for talented street artists to use as a canvas on which to present their ideas, concepts and creativity, which enhances the space. , something they want to showcase and celebrate. through their work.
A collection of their photographs taken both in the UK and abroad, including Chernobyl, doing just that, is on display in the first floor space of the Pocklington Arts Center.
In the collection of prints and original art, titled âEvery Wall Is Loved,â the trio hope to highlight the relationship between art and the context in which it exists; This graffiti is not a destructive occupation but an improvement of the mundane situation around us. This art can live in unexpected places.
James, who is based in York and whose love of photography began when he received a Russian Zenit 35mm camera for his ninth birthday, explained the appeal of photographing abandoned buildings.
âExploring and photographing abandoned buildings is quite fascinating. The buildings themselves often reclaimed by nature and sometimes fragments of their past use still exist, giving you a glimpse of the people who worked or lived there.
âWe have started to find street art in many of these old industrial sites in Sheffield and the surrounding area. They made a deep impression on me.
âWho were these artists and why go to so much effort to create contextual art that very few people would see before the buildings were torn down or simply collapsed? ” he said.
Chernobyl and the nearby town of Pripyat have so far been James’ favorite place to photograph.
âIt was an overwhelming experience. The extent of abandonment and the sheer volume of personal affects left behind. Buildings decaying for miles in all directions, all reclaimed by nature to varying degrees, but each with a human story to tell, âhe added.
Steven, from North Duffield, who has been taking photos for 40 years, was also captivated by Chernobyl among other travel destinations.
âI love capturing the beauty of decay and discovering urban artists working in these environments added an extra dimension to what could be achieved pictorially,â said Steven.
âI was lucky enough to be able to travel a lot and capture incredible places. Reykjavik has great street art and Kiev is a beautiful city with great murals, but I have to say that Chernobyl was very unique and so poignant, âhe added.
Roger, from Pocklington, began experimenting with black-and-white darkroom photography in college in the late 1980s, but it wasn’t until 2004 that his interest was sparked by his first digital camera .
Its main locations to date include an abandoned hotel in Sheffield which he described as “an urban art gallery” and Derby Hospital which he called “the strangest place” comparing its long hallways voids at the movie 28 Days Later.
Roger loves how urban art often complements its location and how abandoned buildings can become time capsules.
Roger said: âWe started exploring abandoned places around Sheffield, mainly businesses that seemed to have gone bankrupt overnight and some places looked like Mare Celeste.
âUnwashed coffee mugs on dust-accumulating countertops, tools that looked like they’d been shunned in an instant, when employees were just being asked to leave, like a fire drill.
âI guess it’s a feeling of discovery and sadness about long-gone human activity. A time capsule from when it was a bustling beehive.
âWe literally stumbled upon urban art. In Sheffield, many places were used by a small circle of artists to practice their art or just use the undisturbed space to work.
âTheir subject matter often compliments the location. An artist called Phlegm would create these mythical creatures, using the structural environment as part of the picture – the waste pipes would become spears, using a dark door to lean against.
“Again, this leads to a sense of human activity that is long gone.”
The exhibition runs until Tuesday, November 30. Photographers will be hosting a âMeet The Artistâ social event on the first floor of PAC on Friday, October 22 from 7 to 9 pm.
The bar will be open and everyone is welcome. Entrance to the exhibition is free, during opening hours only.
For PAC opening hours or more information about the exhibition, visit www.pocklingtonartscentre.co.uk or call the ticket office on 01759 301547.