PHOTOGRAPHERS HIT THE NORTH
EIGHT ARTISTS SHOWCASE WORK AT MANCHESTER’S CENTRAL LIBRARY
FROM sweeping rural vistas to urban portraiture, a new photography exhibition capturing northern life and landscapes opens this weekend in Manchester.
Hit the North will fill Manchester Central Library’s first floor exhibition space with captivating work from eight photographers and artists from April 19 to June 30.
Among them is Daniel Meadows, who took over a disused barber’s shop in Moss Side’s Greame Street while studying at Manchester Polytechnic in 1972 and turned it into a makeshift photography studio.
Residents could come and have their portraits taken for free, which were then displayed in the shop window and distributed to people’s houses - but after eight weeks he ran out of money and had to close it down.
Feeling guilty because people could no longer see the photographs, he laid them out on wooden boards which he nailed to a tree in the nearby park.
Only later did he realise this had been his first exhibition.
Now recognised as one of the leading British post-war photographers, Daniel’s work is held in many major collections including The Hyman Collection, The British Library, the Arts Council England Collection, the Martin Parr Foundation and the Victoria and Albert Museum.
His work will be showcased alongside more recent urban portraiture of lads from Salford in 1994, captured by Chris Harrison.
Drawing inspiration from the grand tradition of painting, his Under the Hood series of portraits employs dramatic lighting and drapery that gently jar with its down-to-earth subjects.
The exhibition will also feature work by recent Manchester Metropolitan University graduate and rising star Phoebe Kielty, from her forthcoming book They Were My Landscape.
Featuring gritty urban details and fleeting glimpses of people, her hand-printed analogue photography finds the extraordinary in everyday observations.
Since graduating in 2015, her work has already been exhibited at Tate Modern in London and Open Eye in Liverpool, and she has also been nominated for two prestigious prizes: the 2018 Paul Huf Award and the 2017 First Book Award.
Matthew Murray’s visions of Saddleworth will also sit within the eclectic collection. His dark, metallic photographs show areas including Wessenden Moor and Chew Piece Plantation in a captivating new light.
Paul Floyd Blake’s gently humorous portraits of billboard signs outside churches across England; Ian Macdonald’s photographs of the people, industry and landscape of his native ●● Cleveland; Tessa Bunney’s series celebrating domestic flower growers of northern England; and Liza Dracup’s photographs of taxidermied birds and mammals, complete the showcase. The exhibition, curated by Hobo Photo, is free to see and prints of all the work on display will be available to buy. Manchester Central Library / hobophoto. co.uk / from now to June 30 (9am-8pm, Mon-Thurs; 9am-5pm, Fri-Sat) / Free ●● ●●
From Daniel Meadows’ free photographic studio at 79B Greame Street, Moss Side, Manchester, February-April 1972