Shadows of Industry
2009 – 2011
At the start of the year I revisited a body of work I made a few years ago titled ‘Shadow’s of Industry’, a study of local mills towns. After perhaps missing trudging around these artefacts of the industrial revolution I’ve started to produce some new work from Halifax, Sowerby Bridge and Saltaire.
A study of mill towns here in the North of England, once the centre of commerce and industry the textile industry is becoming a distant memory. Many of the mills that graced the landscape are falling into ruin, many demolished to make way for new developments but a lucky few solider on.
We live in an ever changing world and this applies equally to the architecture that surrounds us. Here in the North of England the textile industry is now all but forgotten. The titanic mills that once graced the landscape are changing, many fall into ruin and decay in the end being reduced to nothing more than a pile of rubble in order to make way for another modern featureless concrete and glass monstrosity. A few however, the lucky ones get a second chance at life, they are redeveloped into offices and homes and while they are often modernised the heart and soul of the building remains.
These photographs were created during the hours of darkness; while most people are safely in the comfort of their homes away from the mystery and the danger hiding in the darkness the world around us changes. A truly man-made landscape, mans architectural creations lit with the glow of tungsten, sodium and fluorescent. It is often a solitary world the redeveloped industrial complexes all bustling places during the daylight hours fall quietly into the darkness. The world is asleep, devoid of human presence and will remain, only to be woken by the first rays of dawn and the footsteps of commuters.
In the relatively short time I have been producing these photographs I have observed changes in the environment the relentless march of development continues and some of these mills no longer exist wiped from this earth, a piece of history destroyed forever. These photographs are a document, a moment in space and time, a snap shot of what once was and sadly as time moves on these photographs will become more of a history lesson to our industrial heritage.
Photographs from my Shadows of Industry project have been exhibited at the following venues…
Dean Clough Mills, Halifax
Greenwood Tree Gallery, The Piece Hall, Halifax