Skip to content

As ever two presenters: Peter Marshall and Michael Scott.

Peter began with some notes on his earliest work when he used small, intimate prints that demanded close attention and concentrated on such subjects as housing in the Hume and Moss Side areas of Manchester. He worked within the Moss Side Housing Action Group whose ideas were to be acted on by officialdom twenty years later. An early, productive, influence was the photographer Ray Moore.

Peter then moved on, photographing Hull which was going through a period of intense but negligent renewal. The insensitive insertion of a new road in town, with attendant destruction, came as a shock. As a visitor to Hull, Peter did not dwell on social matters but on the evident changes and the economic changes underlying them. A large show (c144 prints) at the Ferens Gallery brought the work to light and provoked a certain displeasure among councillors. There have since been publications of the work by Café Royal and the 2011 book “Still Occupied”.

Michael also showed work from some decades ago but so far unseen. His project was to photograph the building of the Jubilee Line as it passed under London. TfL offered some funding but also imposed tight conditions (inevitable in such a hazardous and critical environment) and his work was eventually curtailed by a change of project administration but the body of work is still substantial and impressive.

The photos range across the construction project from planning board meetings (and models) to offices and to the hazardous areas of the site. Despite a concentration on people working, the environment and machinery are very much in evidence. Protective clothing made handling SLR cameras tricky; films had to be pushed to cope with low lighting; a guide/carer was with Michael at all times. Some images were posed as the taking of a photo would otherwise have been a hazard to the worker shown.

There was a general feeling that the project should be published.