With the project finally underway, I’d already started to think about my area of focus. A lot of the photographers work I’d researched tended to be of portraits featuring specific groups of people. I knew that with the time available it was unlikely for me to source suitable specific subjects, so what else could I photograph?
Then, when reading the Teacher & Group Leaders’ Kit, one category jumped out at me: Industrialisation & Consumerism. The photographers under this category are those who recorded the changing industrial landscape & its eventual decline. For example, the Bernd & Hilla Becher spent over over 40 years took photographs of industrial architecture. Since coming across their work a couple of years ago, I love the details of the buildings they’ve captured.
I then looked at some of the other photographers under this category.
The other photographers were Robert Frank & Martin Parr, the work of whom I’ve looked at previously. All of these capture a particular area, environment or detail at a certain point in time. Some timeless, some quite obvious.
With these images floating round my head, it then struck me about my possible location & subject matter. Greenwich.
I’ve been planning on making a trip to Greenwich for the last couple of years. This area of London played a major part in my life from childhood into adulthood. I was a member of Curlew Rowing Club, which is based in Greenwich from 1993 to 1999. I spent many an hour in the clubhouse, on the water & running along the riverbank. I also lived in that area for two years.
This used to be quite an industrial area & very much influenced by the River Thames being a working river. It did suffer a massive decline during the 1970s & 1980s, but was gradually being transformed & gentrified while I was living there. The last time I was in Greenwich was 2001, so there had to be some inevitable changes. It would be interesting to see what they are & what may have stayed the same. Time to dig into the cruelty & tenderness of memory.
Criteria Ref: P1 & P4