Functional architecture in it’s purest form, Brutalism before it was a style. Architecture can be a window into history…
It’s great to see some of our work being published along with an interview in the newly released Cotton & Guns Magazine. Cotton & Guns is a photography magazine that focuses on analogue photography.
In their own words.. “While the content of the magazine is rooted within the individual subcultures of its contributors, the backbone of the project seeks to promote a unified community where open conversations about Men’s Well being is supported and not discouraged.
Funds made from your support of this project are split 50/50 between the production costs of the magazine and our partner charity, CALM (Campaign against living miserably). “
The magazine which is almost the size of a book can be purchased here… Cotton & Guns Magazine (bigcartel.com)
It can be difficult at times to dedicate time to personal projects when the demands of work, family and life in general are ever present. But it’s important not to completely neglect what sparked your drive for photography to begin with. Slowly we’ve been collecting some more images for our ongoing Time Called project. As pub closures are continously taking place, there are always buildings to document, it’s often just the time to photograph them that is lacking. Our latest additions were all shot pre-corona. Sadly I think there may be many more once we’re on the other side of the lockdown and we see the affects it has had on this already struggling industry.
“Manchester lies at the foot of the southern slope of a range of hills, which stretch hither from Oldham, their last peak, Kersallmoor, being at once the racecourse and the Mons Sacer of Manchester.”
“The Conditions Of The Working-Class In England”
Written by Engels in September 1844 to March 1845 and first Published in Leipzig, 1845
“On the 24 September 1838, Salford’s biggest ever demonstration took place on Kersal Moor, when thousands of people marched from all over the North West to demand the vote. Organised by the Chartists, the rally at the old racecourse on the moor was a launch pad in Lancashire of the fight for democracy in England…”
First conceived in the 60’s, the style of architecture which has come to be known as Post-Modernism became popular throughout the 80’s and 90’s and was a reaction to the stark minimalism of it’s predecessor, Brutalism. Post-modernism can be defined by it’s often garish embellishments and the style is distinctive in it’s use of the grandeur. There are however many buildings which are not so outlandish but can still be characterised by the small, recognisable details that many buildings from this era share. For example, arch-like shapes and pillars are common in post-modern buildings and in the examples found here, lots of glass.
Earlier this year, 17 post-modern buildings in the UK were listed and last year two books were published celebrating the style of architecture. At the same time there was a flurry of articles published on the topic, but none of the examples of post modernism Greater Manchester has to offer were featured in any of this attention, and we have some pretty impressive ones.
I can’t even decide if I actually like this style of architecture to be honest but what I am interested in is how easy it becomes to define styles and periods in architecture and how quickly the current zeitgeist becomes history.
There are more examples that I haven’t managed to photograph yet and I’d love to take some time to include some more of the buildings in the North when i can get around to it but for now here are a few examples.
To come clean on portraiture photography, it’s something I have over the years tended to avoid as not being completely confident in my abilities.
Give me a landscape or a building to photograph and I am in my element taking my time undisturbed till you get the shots your happy with. Ok there are challenges involved, conditions not being right( British weather for example) Or the light falling in the right place the sun in the correct position etc. But when the conditions are right you can take your time and it is a relatively relaxing experience.
For me portraiture is a completely different ball game. Even to get someone in front of your camera isn’t always easy. Being photographed is not everyone favourite way to spend half an hour. You also have the time constraints. There is only so long before your subject starts getting bored/tired/uneasy. You are also simultaneously attempting to make your subject feel at ease whilst making sure you’re operating your equipment correctly. These are thing you have to manage when taking portraits, so for a long time it put me off a bit.
So in order to drag myself away from my comfort zone, I have started to set personal project briefs which include photographing people.
These are the first few images of a personal project on musicians at home. When I think of musician or band photography the first images which come to mind involve said band or musician against some kind of urban looking backdrop looking a bit aloof, and portraying an oh so cool image. This kind of imagery tends to help set musicians and bands apart from normality, as people to be put on a pedelstal and idolised. Having grown up with a musician, I have never been a fan of this kind of imagery. Although many musicians spend a proportion of their time on tour being followed by adoring fans, they also spend a significant amount of time at home just doing ordinary, mundane stuff, like the rest of us mere mortals. So this project is my attempt to show that a softer more domestic side to these subjects by showing them as they are the majority of the time, relaxed in their homes.
So far i’ve managed to convince five people to take part and I have a hit list so watch this space for more.
NB. I couldn’t have done this without the trusted other half of HeissRourke Photography, Adam, who was my most knowledgeable assistant.
1. Hardy’s Well, Rusholme, Manchester, 2017.
2. Red Lion, Eccles, Salford, 2017.
3. The Bowling Green, Rusholme, Manchester, 2017.
4. The Farewell, Rochdale, 2017.
5. Old House At Home, Salford, 2013.
6. Black Horse Hotel, Salford, 2013.
7. Top House, Rochdale, 2013.
8. The White Lion, Mytholmroyd, 2013.
9. The Carlton, Lower Broughton, Salford, 2017.
1. The Woolpack, Pendleton, Salford, 2013.
2. Albert Vaults, Salford, 2013.
3. Billy Green, Collyhurst, Manchester, 2013.
4. The Mitchell Arms, New Islington, Manchester, 2013.
5. The Clarendon, Lower Broughton, Salford, 2017.
6. The River, Ancoats, Manchester, 2016.
7. New White Lion, Blackley, Manchester, 2013.
8. The Kings Head Hotel, Ardwick, Manchester, 2016.
9. Copenhagen Tavern, Newton Heath, Manchester, 2013.
The Ihme Zentrum is a huge 1970s modernist multi storied, multi faceted, concrete development in Hannover, Germany. Built along the Ihme river in 1975, it was originally intended as an exciting new concept which would be a strong symbol of present modernist ideology. It combines residential, retail and office space in one large space. The whole complex is a brutalist architecture enthusiast’s dream but for many of the city’s inhabitants, it’s regarded as an eyesore and for the city planning department a major thorn in it’s side. The residential area consists of 860 apartments where approximately 2400 people live. There are two 22 storey blocks, one on either side of the complex and in between several lower 6 and 5 story apartment blocks. Another two high rise buildings house the ‘Enercity’ offices, Hanover’s main energy provider. The whole area takes up 285,000 square meters.
Residents within the Ihme Zentrum are mostly content with life there. Despite many negative opinions coming from outside, the apartments are of a high standard and many are privately owned. The main problem stands with the retail area of the complex which was never able to reach it’s full potential. Despite initially attracting some major chains including ‘Saturn Hansa’ a large German electronics retailer, major mistakes made in planning meant that the project was fundamentally flawed from the outset. To begin with an underground tram stop which was built inside the complex was never finished which meant it was harder to attract shoppers away from the city centre. The fact that the shops were on the first floor meant that people had to come up to shop. There were footbridges built for pedestrian access but not enough to make it as attractive and welcoming as a high street shopping area. The way the buildings were constructed resulted in the retail space lacking in available light. The feeling that this created was something that deterred shoppers many believing that it was a unsafe place to be despite a lack of actual incidents to justify this perception. One by one retailers began to pull out and the final nail in the coffin was when Saturn Hansa pulled out in 2004. The retail area which was already starting to look at bit like a ghost town now felt desolate.
There have been no less than 4 attempts to re-vamp the Ihme Zentrum, one of those attempts in 2006 from the infamous Carlyle Group, the American multi-national financial services corporation who once had George W Bush on their payroll. Plans for what was going to be named ‘Linden Park’ included bringing down the entrance to the shopping area to the ground floor and lots of shiny glass and steel that would cover up the unfashionable 70’s concrete. Their building contractors managed to completely vandalise large sections of the complex before pulling out due to the financial crises, leaving the site in a bad way. This was of course a disastrous situation for residents who were now living amongst an unfinished building site, with no time table as to when the situation would improve.
Finally in February 2015, a Berlin firm , bought what had belonged to The Carlyle Group. When we were last there in summer this year we saw a few workmen tinkering away however, as yet nothing significant seems to be happening.
Although never really undertaking a full sized project here, since roughly 2006 we’ve taken quite a few images which we felt were worth showing. We also lived there for a year in 2009 so the place is dear to our hearts! Here are the first lot of images, we’ve got some more which we will try and squeeze into another post.