Like you’ve never been away
The streets, although suffering from poverty and deprivation, are notably lacking in litter. There is a respect for the World around them. The World they live in. // Photographing children – Would a photographer be able to do that so freely in the year 2011? // The children are well dressed. Brushed hair. Clean teeth. Cared for. They are happy. Children need very little to be entertained and happy. // Each photo has at least one aspect of animation, for example, a brother grabbing another brothers cheek. // Exposure on the fire photograph is stunningly executed // It would be great to have heard some of the sounds, news headlines (local and international) and music that marked the year 1975. // A consistent exposure and blue tone in each of the images. // An element of humour in each image. // It is striking, that even in such poverty, families were marked by 4, 5 or 6 siblings. There is no example of 1 or 2 children families. // The boy leaning over the edge of a high-rise tower block is alarming, but then your eyes are calmed by a second focal point – the holes in the boys socks. // Football was at the heart of the city, the entertainment, the promise. // There are at least 3 or 4 things to look at or consider in each photograph – this is incredibly difficult to achieve // Why does Britain maintain a cycle of prosperity and then poverty? How do we break this cyclical pattern and develop a model of sustainability? // The furniture looks well made, solid, almost luxurious in comparison to Ikea’s fake dream. // Some photos offer a glimmer of hope, of technological advancement – the racing bike, the chopper, the ford car, tv, high-rise communities and fashion. // Children climbing over a car. Today we call them feral // Evidence of tight knit communities, shared conversation with neighbours, interaction on the streets, water fights // Staged images in some cases – the soldier kiss?? // The industrial smog of the city creates atmosphere. // Lines in the images are well composed. // It is notable just how unaware the children are of the camera in some shots, and in others they are intrigued and willing to entertain for a technology they would have been unlikely to have seen before. How do we recreate this freedom now? Possibly using non-instrusive device like a mobile phone camera OR possibly hand the technology to the participant in the image and simply curate the results. The story is the important outcome. You could also participate, join-in or sign-up to the community you wish to photograph, but lose the innocent perspective as you are influenced by the subject matter – it changes the story, the truth. // What is the role of archives? What do they do? What do they tell us? Do they act as evidence? Do they offer true insight to the moment? // There is ambiguity in some of the images, for example the image above – What are the boys looking at? Who are they talking to? What has created the smile? The blanks are to be filled in by the viewer. // Paul Trevor has numbered his installation. He has created a narrative, a story to be told from one image to the next.
Like you’ve never been away, an exhibition of Paul Trevor’s photographs of Liverpool in 1975, is at the Walker from 13 May to 25 September 2011. Part of the Look11 photography festival. Free admission.