Impressions Gallery- The Roads To Wigan Pier.

Course Trip- Bradford. Impressions Gallery. The Roads to Wigan Pier.

This exhibition started in 1972 and was originally in York. The impressions gallery started in 2007 in Bradford. The Roads to Wigan Pier is by George Orwell and is in the Bradford Impressions Gallery to celebrate it’s 40 year anniversary.

Research Task 1: Choose an Image from the exhibition “The roads to wigan pier”. Select a work that has an impact on you. Take notes using the following questions as a guide.

What is the name of the work and who is the photographer?

Jubilee Terrace by Russell Boyce. – Hull

Describe what you can see.

I see children, houses, plain over grown gardens, boarded up windows of houses, litter in the gardens, broken pavement, and some sort of electricity pole. – These aspects of the image can tell me a great deal, the children immediately represent the families who live down that street. Also the fact that they are playing in the street suggests that there is nowhere for them to play, or the simple fact that the mothers are too busy to have them in the house- suggesting stress at home/a lot for the mother to cope with. Plain over grown gardens also backs up the thought that the mother and father have a lot to deal with and doesn’t have time to garden or simply the fact that they are lazy and can’t be bothered to do it. Broken pavement- suggests that the local council have better things to spend funds on. Finally the electricity pole suggests that there are a lot of other houses down this street probably in the same situation.

Do you like the image?

Yes and No. I do not like the tone of emotions this image radiates. I look at the image and see a deserted street the children there look lonely and miserable and so do the houses I don’t see the laughter or fun that the children should be enjoying. Also the fact that I live in Hull myself I have a personal connection with the image and know that I don’t feel like this when i’m home and can only think that it was that era when the photograph was taken that was sad and miserable as well as the city.

Consider the composition- Where are things placed within the image? What effect does this have?

I like the composition of the image how the photographer has used natural lines in the image such as the pole and sharp corner of the house to divide the image up (Rule of Thirds). I particularly like the way the divide shows life/no life on each end of the image. One half shows people who live down that street and have experienced living at this time. However the opposite side shows run down houses that don’t look lived in. A notable point is to recognise the juxtaposition of feelings that bounce from each third of the image.

What is the point of view – where was the camera positioned? Close up or far away? What does this imply?

Photographers always capture their best images at random times, Brian always says ‘it’s about being at the right place at the right time’. So i believe that Russell was just walking along the path and stood across the road and photographed the children and houses from a distance. However the image is perfectly in focus and straight so the photographer may have balanced his camera on a wall to avoid camera shake ect.

What type of light is present within the image? Is it natural or artificial? What atmosphere/mood does this create?

The lighting in this image is all natural as the photograph was taken outside. I think that the mood is very limited in this image as you get the feeling that the street -even though it’s packed with houses- is very lonely and abandoned.

Are any relationships formed between the image and any other works in the exhibition? Is it part of a series? How does this effect it’s meaning?

I think that the image has a relationship of harmony with some others taken by the photographer as they all seem rather lonely and life less.

What associations does the work have for you? What does it make you think about, how does it make you feel?

I live in Hull, where these photographs were taken therefore I feel like I have a personal connection with the images. I can relate to living in that city as I spent my childhood there. However the image contrasts with my childhood as I have very happy memories playing in the street/park ect. It just shows how times have changed and how Hull as a city has changed.

Roads to Wigan Pier


Research Task 2; 
Visit the Kodak gallery in the National Media Museum.

♦ Find the Giroux Camera.
♦ Go through to Photography, Art and Science to find out about;
-The first commercial use of photography
– Portrait photography
– Illustrating books and magazines
♦ Find the Daguerreotype portraits
♦ Walk back to daylight studio
♦ Head for compass on the floor and follow sign ‘to the beach’
♦ Find out about the invention of the Kodak camera
♦ Have a look at the cases containing the Cottingley Fairy photographs.

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