The Hit the North exhibition celebrates northern photography across the past five decades, from incisive studio portraiture to grand rural vistas to quiet urban details.
In constant flux but obdurately unchanging, the North is revealed as a paradox, as contradictory and subjective as photography itself.
While Daniel Meadows’ magical Moss Side portraits from the early Seventies are filled with a community spirit, Chris Harrison’s mid-Nineties Salford lads portray a harder-edged, less innocent time. But the timelessness of Liza Dracup’s recent natures mortes – the stillest of still lives drawn from the nature of the North – contend that little ever really changes here.
Northern nature also fills Matthew Murray’s vast dark views of the Manchester-Yorkshire borderlands, but these are inner visions of a subtly managed landscape. Human intervention is more conspicuous in Ian Macdonald’s warm scenes of Teeside, made at the tail end of a now bygone industrial era. But Tessa Bunney’s micro views of the North Yorkshire managed landscape are a surprising reminder that dead industries from the distant past are sometimes reborn.
Paul Floyd Blake’s wry observations capture the abiding northern characteristics of resolute humour and eternal positivity. And while Salford-based Phoebe Kiely’s urban details show the North of today, her traditional analogue photographs could have been made at any time in the past half century.
Hit the North is curated by Manchester-based Hobo Photo, which aims to develop the appreciation of photography as art. As well as promoting new talent, we are particularly interested in recognising older work which has been overlooked.
All the photographs in the exhibition are for sale.
Hit the North
Until 30th June 2018
First Floor Exhibition Hall, Central Library, St Peter's Square, Manchester M2 5PD