Considering it’s been live for nearly two months, I thought it was about time I wrote about my first solo exhibition that’s on show at the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter.
I’ve lived in Birmingham permanently since 2012, and originally struggled to come to terms with living in such an overwhelming metropolis when ideally I wanted to be living up a hill somewhere in the Lake District. However, I’ve inherited my mother’s ability to make the best of a situation, so from the start of my residence I decided to make friends with the city using my camera.
I began by exploring the canals, the natural habit for someone who is drawn to the countryside. There I found a world of beauty; quiet, serene and seemingly completely detached from the buzz of the Stratford Road, or the busyness of the city centre.
Eventually all canal towpaths led to the city centre and I discovered that there was plenty of beauty that could be uncovered in an urban setting. I started to appreciate the intricacies of an evolving city, exploring how different lighting conditions could highlight various features of the juxtaposing architecture.
This exhibition is the culmination of 4 years of work, with many failed mornings standing under grey skies. Occasionally the weather was on my side and the conditions conspired, and for any photographer, the skill is to know how to capture those conditions within a short time frame. Virtually all of these images show transient conditions, where the frames two minutes previous or afterwards are entirely changed by the lighting.
The exhibition is partly a celebration of my work, partly a celebration of Birmingham, and finally it also celebrates the Museum’s 25th birthday. I’m ashamed to admit that I’d never visited the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter prior to them approaching me regarding this project. In fact, I was so confused that I went to the wrong museum to attend our initial meeting (embarrassing)! The city should be so very proud of all of the museums and heritage sites that are open to members of the public, they are an insight to the great city of Birmingham that is constantly changing and reinventing itself. If my exhibition ensures that more people learn about the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter and more importantly, visit the museum, that would make me exceedingly happy. These institutions are so very important, and the team who run them are unsung heroes, passionate about this marvellous city and it’s diverse history.
It’s been an honour to be the first to exhibit in this space, and I look forward to enjoy many other exhibitions from other brilliant artists in Birmingham. I’d also like to thank the many organisations and photographers who have supported me and advertised the exhibition including Brumpic, Independent Birmingham, BrumHour, Ross Jukes, Tim Cornbill, Fraser McGee and the IgersBirmingham crew, Trevor Beattie, the Express & Star, BBC Midlands Today, and so many more who have shared, RT’d and turned up to the opening night. You’re all legends.