|05/09/19 - 15/09/19
CURATED BY THOMAS DUKES / OPEN EYE GALLERY
landscape changes us. Just as we increasingly shape our environment to
the demands of development, fast paced transport and power consumption.
Our world is drawn from childhood streets, journeys that take us to
unfamiliar places or frequented social spaces filled with friends and
foes who just as equally help shape our perceptions. Places get into
us, and change the way we see the rest of the world.
saying that we perceive these spaces the same. Cultures can grow around
shared backgrounds - but the neighborhood that someone longs to get
away from can be the home you can’t wait to get back to.
Charlesworth is a photographer and writer. For him, the motorway is the
vessel out from the North West for study or assignments. It’s staring
through the windscreen and viewfinder and wondering about what it means
to come from somewhere. The 8 cooling towers of Fiddler's Ferry Power
Station act as beacons during country long journeys, revealing
themselves and polluting the sky with smoke, marking the home stretch.
bridges and rivers, the flyers on telegraph poles, the warehouse
parties and sense of style is all part of a portrait of a place - just
as the way Scott sees this place is a portrait of him.
Charlesworth volunteered with Open Eye Gallery back in 2017-18, and has
undertaken a Silver Arts Award through us. He works full time in
marketing in Southport presently, has produced features for CRACK
Magazine, interned at LAW Magazine and studied photography BA in
|Do you think your work is a personal response to this landscape, or is it an attempt to encourage others to see it as you do?
think during the initial stages there was definitely a great deal of
introspection on my part. I was faced with the conundrum of moving back
home after the best part of four years. I was unsure of what I was
moving back to. The strange paradox of emotion that I experienced at
the time fed into my ideas and hence the title, “The Dirt I’m Made Of”
was coined. I believe the body of work now stands to encourage those
who find themselves in similar settings, and to look beyond the
pessimism that all too easily attaches to one’s hometown.
Lots of your work is bathed in a really warm golden light. Is that because you feel very positive about where you come from?
the pride I feel for my hometown, the reoccuring golden tones actually
originate from the time of day that I was shooting. I would be driving
back from university on late summer nights and see something that
caught my eye on the way back. I’d rush home, grab my camera and then
frantically shoot back before the light had faded. There was one
evening that I drove past The Sporting Ford pub, the one featured in
this series. It was always an establishment that I’d always been weary
of, mainly because I had never seen its curtains drawn. On that
evening, despite having been set alight the night before, the Sporting
Ford revealed more of its battered and boarded up self than it had ever
done in my lifetime of passing it by. It was a result of this that I
felt compelled to look at old settings with new eyes. With these new
ways of seeing now unveiled. I was now responsible with romanticising
the formerly mundane.
the same spaces inspire you to write and to photograph - or do you find
that you need something different for these two forms?
photographs and writing are formed out of two very different ways of
working. I tend to roam the places that are both significant to the
community and to my own experiences when photographing. It is more
frequent than not that I will head to a location and know roughly what
can be obtained, and what it is that I wish to achieve. The objects
that I photograph are often blatant in the way that they reveal
themselves as subjects, so in that sense, my approach does not differ
for the most part. My writing on the other hand is a much slower and
subtle process. I often find myself frustrated with photography as an
isolated medium. Words provide me the freedom to demonstrate emotion
much more descriptively, and hence why, “The Dirt I’m Made Of” is a
collaborative effort between word and image. I’ll overhear
conversations in day to day interactions, or daydream with words as I
pass Rocksavage Power Station on my M56 commute.
and emotions will then be compiled into a dystopian industrial setting,
dreamt up in my head, rife with hard faced social clubs & snooker
halls that refuse to let go of yesterday.