Baltimore

Photographer, Josh Sinn shoots The Monumental City from the outside-in

Words by Josh Sinn

For ten years, Baltimore has been my neighbor to the East. When people think of Baltimore, most recall The Wire, the HBO show created by David Simon, a former police reporter for The Baltimore Sun. The show, which ran for five seasons, brought the streets of Baltimore to the TV sets of viewers worldwide, illuminating the issues of the Maryland city such as drugs, violence, and corruption. Simon’s show was taken by some to be an overly negative portrayal of Baltimore, but many fail to recognize that it was simply that: his portrayal.

While The Wire is a fictional show based on real people, events, and experiences of Simon and others, my photographs represent my experiences, from the people I’ve met to the things I’ve seen. My photographs are a portrayal of my Baltimore. Certainly, I cannot cover the city the way every single person may see or experience it, but I don’t want to drive peoples’ perceptions of Baltimore in either way, good or bad. I’ve seen a lot of sad sights, but I’ve seen a lot of good things too. I say this because a common phrase I hear is “we gotta show people that Baltimore is more than The Wire”. To me, yes, of course Baltimore is more than 60 episodes of an HBO show, but in my opinion, that phrase is an easy way to sweep the issues the show dealt with under the rug. Depicting all the good that goes on in Baltimore is fantastic and there’s certainly plenty of it, but I just wish to document anything and everything.

Not currently living in Baltimore often makes me feel like an outsider, which in turn, makes me feel like I don’t understand Baltimore. By giving myself an excuse to talk to people and experience what the city has to offer, I’m learning quite a lot about Baltimore, as well as myself.

Here I’ll Stay

Photographer, John-Lloyd Quayle captures people and place in working class Merseyside

Words by Dean Davies

John-Lloyd Quayle’s photographs taken in and around Merseyside, the Northern metropolitan county renowned for its football, music, night-life and ship yards work against popular misconceptions within the widespread media to portray an honest representation of working-class England.

Born in Birkenhead, Quayle has lived on the Wirral his entire life, and the autonomous documentation of his immediate family, Merseyside landscapes and the people who inhabit them, is fuelled by a rediscovered appreciation for his hometown and desire to capture its continual regeneration.

We spoke with Quayle to find out more about Merseyside's residents.

TRIP: Tell us more about ‘Here I’ll Stay’, where did the title come from?
John-Lloyd Quayle: Here I’ll Stay is a series of pictures which I have been making over last 3 years in and around my hometown. Every day I’ll take pictures, of anything that interests me. My main subject matter is people, but places can be just as interesting. The project is something which I cannot see an end to. I don’t have any intention of moving away from Merseyside and I’m sure I’ll always take pictures.

The title, Here I’ll Stay came from Gerry and The Pacemaker’s song about the River Mersey, 'Ferry Cross The Mersey'. I don’t know how the series will look or feel in a few years’ time but there is one thing I know for sure, I want to stay here in Merseyside. When I heard that line in Ferry Cross The Mersey, I thought that’s what I’ll call the series. Well, at least that’s what I’ll call the first volume of work.

TRIP: We featured your New Brighton series, At The Front in TRIP Issue 1. Apart from the locational parameters, how do the two projects differ?
John-Lloyd Quayle: At The Front and Here I’ll Stay are both a study of a place and the people within that place. At The Front concentrates on the place as a Holiday resort - a place where people go to get away from everything, a sort of utopia from everyday life. Here I’ll Stay is a study of people and a place within everyday life. Here I’ll Stay, for me is more personal, it’s a closer look at people within their environments.

TRIP: How would you describe Merseyside and its residents?
John-Lloyd Quayle: Merseyside as a place is wonderful and the massive variety of people within Merseyside make it so interesting to photograph. There’s so much character and so many different types of people, I could make several projects from this one series.

TRIP: The photographs within ‘Here I’ll Stay’ feel a lot more personal compared to those within 'At The Front', where the vast majority of the people have been caught unawares. Was this a conscious decision?
John-Lloyd Quayle: Photographing people when they are unaware is the best time to photograph them really, it feels more real to me. At the same time though when I’m taking a direct portrait of a person and they know I’m taking the picture there has to be some sort of relationship between you as the photographer and them as the sitter. You have to be fully aware of the person you’re photographing and they have to trust you or something really awkward and posed happens. So yes, I guess there’s a good mixture within the series. I’m working on more portraits at the moment so there will be more posed portraits in the next volume of work.

TRIP: You’ve lived in Merseyside your whole life. Was it difficult to find new things of interest?
John-Lloyd Quayle: Never, it’s the people in the place and the traces of interaction that really interest me. I could walk round day after day, meeting new people and finding new places. Merseyside is a big place for one person with a camera. Time changes, people change and I’m constantly changing. I guess I could carry this project on forever.

TRIP: You’ve stated the series is on-going. How do you plan to take it forward?
John-Lloyd Quayle: It’s taken me three years to produce this series, I’m seeing this point as the end of the first volume of work and I want to move on with the second volume of work now. I’ve gained a great amount of confidence with the camera, I feel more comfortable being the guy who takes pictures and I think this has begun to show in my work. My plan is to walk further, drive further, meet more new people, photograph them and further my study of the people of Merseyside. As I said earlier, time changes, people change, nothing stays the same. There will always be something to record. New things are happening all the time and I’ll be here ready to photograph it all.

TRIP: Has your opinion of Merseyside changed since starting the project?
John-Lloyd Quayle: My opinion on Merseyside has changed slowly over the last few years, as a rebellious child I used to hate my hometown, I would hear people saying they wanted to move away and go somewhere exciting and I used to agree. Now I feel quite the opposite… Here i’ll stay.

On Tour – Magaluf

William Lakin captures club 18-30’s holiday destinations and their predominantly British workforce

Words by William Lakin

On Tour – Magaluf (working title) is an on going project which focuses on 18-30’s holiday destinations.

For years young British workers have sought the carefree atmosphere of the Med to work in a job where the rigid social boundaries of their home country are fiercely rejected.

They are runaways from the constraints, disappointing weather and economic gloom of the UK, yet despite this they are repeatedly drawn to places where the British influence is uncompromisingly apparent, creating a melting pot of British taste and foreign heat – these young people believe they have found paradise; they are paid to talk, drink and have a good time, and they do so, with great success.

These photographs were made at the end of the season in 2013; few tourists linger and the remaining workers reflect on the long, chaotic season from which they are about to emerge.

Karass

Hannah Saunders’ on-going portrait series confronts taboos surrounding nudity and censorship

Words by Hannah Saunders

We are not objects destined for scrutiny and objectification. We are organic matter, creatures inhabiting a planet suspended in the middle of space, we are part of something much bigger.

These photographs were taken because I feel my friends have beautiful souls, they are the ones who compel me, the ones that give me strength, the ones that I love.

Community

Heather Iris Galt-Mcloughlin asked 21 volunteers to respond to her photographs of working-class council estates with a piece of writing

Words by Dean Davies

Heather Iris Galt-Mcloughlin is a lover of men. Her work sees her ride around council estates photographing visual representations, as often stereotyped in contemporary culture, of the masculine working-class. Garage doors, satellite dishes and learner plate-clad mopeds are captured, without interference, creating social portraits of a marginalised sub-section of the male population. Speaking of her practice she says, “I have no balls to ask for a photo of these lads I love, so I photograph everything that builds my understanding of working-class masculinity and what it means to be a man in today's society”.

For Galt-Mcloughlin’s degree show, she asked 21 volunteers, many of whom didn’t know much about the representation she feels her work holds, to respond to a single photograph with a piece of writing. The results, 10 of which are featured below, are a fascinating mix of art theory and personal recollections.

HANNAH POTHECARY – EASTON ESTATE

‘How can we expect art to compete with real life?’ said Joseph Kosuth.
The built environment is an outgrowth of social form and here we stare voyeuristically.
The human reaction to art is important as it strips away any distinction of hierarchy.
The critic does not know more than you.
A photograph like this is a description of a reality, it is a simple diminution of aesthetics not designed or engineered to please.
I don’t know how I truly feel. I know I feel confronted. I feel privileged and silly.
These are lives being lived, a habitat of people that I do not know and I am viewing them as an artwork. Is this reductive of our society or a tribute to it?

NICK COWEN – GARAGE/TOWER

Whoever parks a car in a garage these days? No evidence of vehicular use and the honeysuckle or ivy is creeping in. Most garages are full of junk or on rare occasions a car that is waiting - waiting for something to be done to it. The longer it waits the less chance it has of re-joining the race and the more it seizes up and it's perishable components perish. Does it contain somebody's dream or is it just another garage full of crap?

DEIRDRE CANAVAN – CARAVAN

I occupy a corner of every world I enter. A pick up here, a set down there. Some of the others don’t get on with us. I can see it in their contemptuous gaze, their ‘knowing’ looks, not making their decisions on who we are, but rather what we are. An unsavoury breed in their eyes. Our portable paradise is nothing more than an eyesore, an inconvenience to their tried and tested ideas about living. They don’t like what they can’t understand. But I don’t understand them. Why would I want to stay stuck in one immobile box for the rest of my days? Stuck in the same dreary place with the same dreary people. No, I like my way better. Much better. I am rootless, free from the shackles of place. I am without burden, without anchor, without onus. To be is to wander. Our nomadic existence grants us the freedom to go wherever we want to go, to be whoever we want to be. But sure why would we want to be anyone but ourselves? Sure we’re grand just the way we are.

DEAN ROGERS – DIRT BIKE

As ended, the repetitive drone of the noisy bike's engine, only to be replaced with the bustle of an active council estate. He wouldn't be the first outsider within the estate today, and defiantly wouldn't be the last. There was schedule to meet.

DEAN DAVIES – SULTANA SAREES

A sequence of thoughts:
- Are the St George’s Cross flags being used as a racist symbol targeting the Indian
business below?
- Was or is there conflict between the owner(s) of Sultana Sarees and the occupant(s) of the flat above?
- Why was I quick to conclude that the placement of ‘England flags’ above an Indian clothing shop can only be linked to patriotism, racism and conflict?
- Why was I quick to assume that the owner(s) of Sultana Sarees and the occupant(s) of the flat above are separate people?
- Could the placement of the ‘England flags’ in the windows above Sultana Sarees be a completely harmless act?
- Who or what is to blame for St George’s cross evoking anxiety over potential racism?
- Have organisations such as the English Defence League tarnished the image of St George’s Cross?
- Should politicians take responsibility for failing to speak out over inclusive patriotism of the English majority?
- Is it possible to be patriotic and not be deemed racist?
- Was this photograph taken during a World/European football season, when the streets are typically littered with England football tattle?
- Has football and its associated culture helped toxify the image of national flags?
- Has ‘English patriotism’, particularly through media outlets, further promoted cultural separation and racism by proxy?

JOHN MCLOUGHLIN – BUMPER

Not going anywhere.

MARGARET MCLOUGHLIN – GARAGE

Is there a family of illegal immigrants in there? Do they come out when it's dark, and maybe they have a special knock when entering.

VICTORIA PEACOCK - GRAVEL HOUSE

I come from the most working class area in the Midlands. I actually don’t like to say the name as its generally well known as being a shit hole and people pronounce it in the most patronizing way. I have five other siblings but I don’t think my parents looked after my older brothers and sisters as much as they did with me and my little brother. I think they got married very young as it was the thing to do back then and even though I wasn’t born to witness it, I don’t think my dad was around much and always at the pub and my mum thought she was getting her way by going off to bingo and smoking the family benefits. My mom had a heart attack in December 2010 and then things seemed to change. The smoking stopped within the house and now the family quite openly display their affection towards one and another. My mum recently told me she’s doing a ‘chicken run’; she meant an Easter egg hunt in the garden with my nieces and nephews. I can’t ever remember doing that.

NICKI DRAY - LAD HOUSE

The stark window of in-opportunity inhabits the pebble-dashed paradox that reeks with dissonant indifference.

ANGELA LUFFMAN – SATELLITE DISHES

Daytime TV Living Schedule

09:30- Wake up to a still house
Put on some background noise
Laugh at Jeremy Kyle screaming at everyone to GET OFF THEIR BACKSIDES AND GET A JOB and PUT SOMETHING ON IT!
Feel bad afterwards
11:00- Home makeovers, Grand Designs, shows with Phil and Kirsty
Daydream about a rogue trader doing a number on me as a more attainable goal in home ownership.
Notice the smell of stale smoke everywhere
12:00 Watch Biggest Loser as a Lunchtime accompaniment
Eat last night's leftovers, drink fourth cup of tea of the day
After that Loose Women is on
Think about getting dressed
14:00 Snooze to repeats of Big Bang Theory, How I met your Mother...[insert name of bland American sitcom here]
Dream of a world where and everyone's teeth are shiny and all problems resolved within thirty minutes
17:30 Wake up and close the crack in the curtains

Get started fresh on the job search tomorrow.

TRIP: Why did you decide to open up your work to this kind of critique?
Heather Iris Galt-Mcloughlin: The collaboration was part of my final assessment for my degree. It was the first time i've completely focused on my photographic practice and presented them as a series. I haven't ever collaborated with another artist let alone eighteen, and to begin with I wasn't too sure how to go about it. My intentions with collaborating with the writers was to understand my practice further by seeing whether it was clear to people from all walks of life if it was present in my photographs what I wanted them to represent.

TRIP: How did you go about selecting the volunteers? Was there a decision behind which photograph each individual was asked to respond to?
Heather Iris Galt-Mcloughlin: I began by writing a list of names of people I knew who enjoyed writing and contacted them first, I then posted on a social media website asking for volunteers, many of the names i'd written down contacted me agreeing to take part. The majority of people involved knew little or nothing about my practice, and that’s what I wanted. Eighteen writers were involved, I was happy with this number - I felt I had eighteen really strong photographs that worked well as a series. It was a conscious decision selecting the individual and photograph. I knew I wanted Margret Mcloughlin (my Scouse aunt) and Nick Cowen (my Southern uncle) to both respond to similar photographs of garage doors, Dean Rogers, a lad I grew up with to respond to a dirt bike and for Deirdre Canavan to respond to the caravan photograph because her last name has a similar spelling.

TRIP: Were you nervous about people’s responses potentially missing the mark?
Heather Iris Galt-Mcloughlin: Some volunteer's understood my practice more so than others, with one in particular contributor concentrating on directing their response more to their own practice rather than my own (out of the eighteen writers nine were artists). This isn't a criticism; it was their decision on how to interpret the photograph, and what direction to take it in. I was excited every time I received another response; it made me look at my practice further and definitely helped me understand it more.

TRIP: Did any of the responses mirror your initial intentions for creating a particular photograph?
Heather Iris Galt-Mcloughlin: Angela Luffman's response of the satellite dishes was on point, the routine drag of being unemployed, the staple British day time T.V schedule. I remember when I was younger and if you had a satellite dish you had Sky, and you wanted your neighbours to know you were paying thirty quid a month for it.

TRIP: Have any of the responses caused you to look at your photographs differently?
Heather Iris Galt-Mcloughlin: Hannah Pothecary's response was the first I received back, and out of all the responses it questions the intentions of my practice the most. With the final sentence being “these are lives being lived, a habitat of people that I do not know and I am viewing them as an artwork. Is this reductive of our society or a tribute to it?”. Hannah knew nothing about my practice or intentions, but from a single photograph of an Easton estate she pretty much nailed it. Our views of working class communities in contemporary Britain are negative; this is a result from the media’s perception. This isn't my intention with my practice, it’s about belonging and being part of a community. I'm not an outsider looking in, this is what I grew up around and love.

As a publisher and Community Interest Company, TRIP is dedicated to showcasing unconventional stories that may otherwise be overlooked. We aim to give a platform to the unseen and a microphone to the ignored. Expression is a right and should not be confined to those that can afford to work for free; which is why we strive to support a diverse range of creatives in their work, commissioning exciting projects and creatives to visualize them.
 

Founded as a magazine in 2013 by photographer, Dean Davies, TRIP was born from a desire to provide opportunity and exposure for image-makers across multiple platforms and medias. With a focus on people and place, in 5 years TRIP gained a loyal readership, and became known for its honest image output and representation of the underrepresented, featuring over 800 image-makers from across the world through a website, 5 magazines and 3 free zines.
 

As TRIP C.I.C. we are not interested in profiting from the activities of the organization, and re-invest all income back in to consecutive publishing projects.
 

Directors:
Dean Davies
Alfie Allen
 

For all enquiries: trip@trippublishing.co.uk.