The Bath Magazine January 2022

Page 12

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The city





Tim Beale is a photographer with extensive experience in the heritage sector, including most recently at the Museum of Bath Architecture. He has just published a book, The Right to This City, documenting his photographic research into housing inequality in Bath

Bath Festivals has now confirmed the dates for its festivals next year. The Bath Festival, celebrating music and books in a beautiful city, will take place from Friday 13 May to Saturday 21 May 2022. The festival will open with the traditional Party in the City on Friday 13 May, offering dozens of free live music events in city venues. Bath Children’s Literature Festival, Europe’s largest stand-alone book festival for children and young people, will run from Friday 23 September to Sunday 2 October. The image above shows a young audience member at Bath Children’s Literature Festival attending an event with illustrator Steven Lenton.

Figures show that Bath’s Clean Air Zone (CAZ) is continuing to improve air quality in the city and that the number of chargeable vehicles is decreasing. The data shows an average 14% decrease in nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels within the CAZ in the last quarter compared with the same period in 2019. Air quality has also improved at key locations including Gay Street and Upper Bristol Road. Levels of NO2 at Wells Road, Victoria Buildings, Broad Street, and Chapel Row have increased but this is expected to stabilise once temporary works impacting traffic have been completed, including the Cleveland Bridge renovation project. The data also indicates that the CAZ is improving fleet compliance and changing behaviours.


january 2022

Where do you live? I live just south of Oldfield Park. I love the fact that I can walk and within minutes either be surrounded by countryside or really interesting architecture. This part of Bath is very different to what visitors expect and features heavily in my photography. What do you like about Bath? Having worked in the Heritage Sector for around 14 years, the city’s rich architecture, history and culture drew me here. What memories do you have in the city? I visited the Circus on one of the first dates with my wife Emma. I recall her delightedly walking to the centre and clapping to illustrate the echo. Where are you from originally? I am from the Midlands and still have family in Derby and Birmingham, but lived and worked in London before heading to the south west. I moved here in 2017 just before being offered a role with Bath Preservation Trust managing the Museum of Bath Architecture.


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What is your background? I studied ceramics and photography at A Level before moving to London to study for a combined arts foundation. My first proper job was in a lab and I did a science degree with them. Prior to starting the MA I completed the Licentiate Distinction with the Royal Photographic Society. Do you feel we celebrate our city’s heritage with sensitively and imagination? We are steeped in heritage and we celebrate the Grand Georgian aspects of the city, and there are no shortages of museums. The Museum of Bath at Work do a cracking job of covering the heritage of those who have serviced the city for hundreds of years, but more could be done, such as a walking exhibition that explored the roles of the city and its people. When did you take up photography? I first became semi-serious about photography when I was about 17, picking up my first ‘real’ camera, a Russian Zenit SLR. That saw me through my A Level and on a few travels.

There was then a period when I could not access a darkroom, and it was not until later when a friend in Frome introduced me to the Canon DSLR (digital SLR). Since then, I am never out without a camera. How would you describe your photographs? I’m fascinated by how we interact with the environment and how the environment influences how we grow and develop. My photographs reflect this. My time in the heritage sector has left me with a passion for research and I find myself researching topics while creating images. These topics could be called quiet protest pieces, highlighting, as they do, the overlooked issues around us. What landscapes do you most like to explore? I thoroughly enjoy walking across the city and find that the built landscape rivals the natural landscape around Bath. I am drawn towards interesting features and less-explored places such as Twerton, Weston and Bear Flat. The architecture of social housing in these areas is as interesting as the Royal Crescent. How would you describe your career? Working for English Heritage really focused my career aspirations. Throughout my career I have always been creative, often in my own time, such as teaching ceramics evening classes, painting or photography. Tell us about your Photography Masters at Falmouth University I wanted a way of challenging myself and to impress my dad, who sadly passed away last year. One of the key things I learned was focus (pardon the pun), looking at what I’m doing, why I’m doing it and who am I doing it for. What are your priorities in life? I am building my practice and working on personal projects and commissions. I’m also launching my self-published book The Right to This City. I’d also love to work with likeminded artists to build on Bath’s art scene and make it flourish and grow into something worthy of Bath’s fame. ■ Read more about Tim’s book The Right to This City on his website: