Wythenshawe is a space ostracized from the rest of Greater Manchester, having only being linked by tram in 2011, some seventy years after its conception, and is accompanied by the classical council estate legacy: youths and misbehaviour, burnt out cars and disrepair despite being originally designed as a utopia: green space destined to replace the slums of Hulme and other areas of central Manchester. An egalitarian move supposed to allow a new standard of living for all; a self sufficient estate contained within its own space: industry and housing, municipality and pleasure.
Designed by Richard Barry Parker, the space was to be a completely new way of living for the lower classes, hexagonal streets interconnected across the land and with parkways running through. Open plan streets defining a place of social cohesion and bright futures. Despite these grand ideals, only one of the hexagonal street designs was ever built, located in Northenden, a small area North of the centre. Over time parkways became segregated motorways, dissecting through the centre of Wythenshawe: a thoroughfare but not part of it, adding to the ostracized solitude unlike other satellite cities.
A design dream slowly forgotten since 1927, lost to standardisation, differing building practices and a gradual, but seismic, change in how we think about social housing, the area is now only half of the original vision, a subtopia. Being built upon rises allows for vistas unlike many suburban spaces creating a strange utopian feel reminiscent of landscape painting, and this alongside some of the original plan that remains in pockets of open space and colourful housing allows for a settled feeling that can’t be found further into the city. There is community here, and discernable calmness, which isn’t replicated in the jarring rush elsewhere.
Wythenshawe is so close to being a working class suburban utopia, though still there are the remnants of the death of this dream: unemployment hangs heavy over the area, and many of the population are destined to never really leave due to a generational lack of higher education; this is twinned with the loss of expecting to be able to do bigger things. The Wythenshawe set of estates is somewhat indicative of how we see council housing, welfare and the working class in English culture now, and is a community that has grown in spite of what it has been given. It is a working class space situated in a society in which all signs of a working class have been all but eradicated.
Football. It's as much a part of British culture as Afternoon Tea, Fish'n'Chips, Morris Dancing or the Queen's Speech. It's a part of our culture that's engraved into the bone, but when I first started this project I didn’t have a clue about it! I didn’t know who plays for who, what division a club is in and don’t even get me started with the offside rule as I still don’t fully understand. It’s an aspect of modern society that I just wasn’t a part of.
There’s no denying that football is a massive part of many people’s lives, a multi-million pound industry that has infiltrated into every aspect of British culture, and connects people from all manner of life. From lawyers to cleaners, students to pensioners. For a few hours every week your social status is revoked, and people unite to share in the pride and the passion of this incredible game.
The images aim to capture the passion and obsession that fans have for their team, and questions the impact it has on society. I’ve turned my lens away from the professional players, and instead focus on the real heart and soul of the sport: the fans.
This project is personal to me, and I see my images not just as a documentation of the fans emotions and reactions to the happenings on the pitch, but also as a means of me better understanding this culture that I’m not a part of, and in turn learning what causes this unconditional love for the game.
Delicate Delinquents is a body of work that observes the in-between state experienced by adolescents entering young adulthood, feelings of responsibility and identity through cultures, behaviour, style and the uniform they wear to the outside world.
The collection is an account of the aesthetics choices by recycled cultures of the British youth and a comprehensive guide to their lifestyle and way of living, through a roller coaster of hormones and emotions, the highs and lows. Presenting a unique collection of portraits of distinctive individuals, their looks, their styles and their personal statements.
Through capturing portraits of individuals within their natural surroundings, this work shows their tough exterior that they project when confronted, pushing the tension between the subject and the camera, breaking the false façade revealing a true image themselves. The boys are displayed in a vulnerable way which would ordinarily be denied. The work attempts to change outlooks towards a misunderstood culture.
I have a confusing relationship with the landscape I live in, I hate it, and yet I love it.
Clinging to the romantic ideal of living somewhere you love, I have searched for places that inspire me, that seem
shrouded with mystery and draw me away from reality.
Empty places with mere fragments of a civilisation, like all of humanity has suddenly vanished.
There’s a narrative to these places that I don’t know and so I make up my own, create an identity for the places that surround me, imagining not that I am somewhere else, but redefining where I am. Building on memories from my childhood, I have created a world that exists in the middle of reality and imagination.
I am present, and yet I am not here.