Sunday, 25 October 2009

The Oldham Road Photography Workshops 2009-11

A Sense Of Place

This photography workshop is designed to encourage you to think about and comment upon the place where you live from how it looks.

As we grow up in the family home or when we move house, we develop a range of skills to help us orientate ourselves around the area we live to help with practical needs such as going to school, shopping and visiting friends but principally to help us avoid getting lost. While making these regular journeys our observations and experiences help us develop a sense of place. This 'sense' can be constructed out of certain markers such as buildings or favourite places for meeting friends or just odd things like personal touches that people have done to their houses or front gardens which give the area an individual flavour.

As you grow older things start to change both in terms of your own relationship to the area and also through outside influences such as redevelopment. This can be quite unsettling, particularly if it involves you being moved and re-housed.

Increasingly councils and housing agencies are particularly keen to include local wishes regarding how these proposed changes are made as this helps to avoid the worst aspects of 'big brother knows best' scenarios which have sometimes produced places that have since been found hard to live in and maintain.

This project is designed to help you make images that explore aspects of your relationship to this area which might otherwise be hard to describe. The idea is for you to think about what it is that helps you have that sense of place and then give you the opportunity to make photographs about what are the good and bad aspects that you see.

As an introduction, we will be looking at some earlier images that I made during the mid 1980's which may help give you ideas as regards how you might apply your own experiences to this project. I hope you will discover how useful images can be in helping jog our memory regarding how things change.

The workshop has a number of digital cameras that you can use and advice will be given as regards how to use them. You can use your own camera if you wish but you will be encouraged to work in pairs to help you plan your strategies and make your pictures.

If you would like to participate in one of these workshops please get in touch and I will add your name to the list. It would be helpful to have a few details such as which area between Manchester and Oldham you live. Also if you are already part of a local group activity, we could design a project that would include other interested members and be more directed at your specific interests. My participation is funded by the Arts Council England, Gallery Oldham and New East Manchester.

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