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This body of work explores clustered social housing estates in the North and South West of England. I wanted to photograph the areas I felt were being left behind, in both upkeep and aesthetic, as we become more modernised throughout the country. The architecture and colour in the housing estates lend themselves to a time we have come through, in society and photography, and the topographical way I have recorded the locations comments on the dated, and often deprived, social housing estates in two very different regions. It was quite eerie wandering around the housing estates. Very rarely did I come across another person whilst photographing and I think this is reflected in the quite flat, lifeless images that make up the series. The areas felt secluded from society, hidden away out of sight and forgotten about. I wanted to convey this sense of being forgotten so I photographed the areas in quite a detached and emotionless manner to reflect that. I was actually told that nobody took photographs like this anymore and I should try something modern. But I think that had quite a lot to do with the subject matter and actually strengthens the concept. I believe it to be quite similar to Robert Adams’ works and ideas, I did actually copy his title because of the links between concept and visual style and also a sort of tongue-in-cheek reaction to being told to be more modern with my work. Adams was photographing a developing but also quite destructive change in mid-west America. Even though the events and developments aren’t always explicitly positive there is hope in the images through the simple fact that what we see may be considered as moving forward, regarding businesses and housing. In contrast to this, my work is documenting the change and development further down the line, or rather when development has long since happened. The project shows that we are back at the beginning where development is needed and the hopefulness of moving forward isn’t as present as it once was.

Ben Kelly


205DPI - No.23  

This month features a huge variation of coverage, starting with one of our own trusted photographers Dominic Steinmann in a fantastic Real T...