Exhibition at Ebrington for the UK City of Culture

It’s amazing to think how quickly the UK City of Culture 2013 celebrations seem to fly by. It was a brilliant year for Derry-Londonderry and it was a real privilege to have our photography displayed during the year. As it’s almost a year since our work was installed at Ebrington Square, Paul and I headed over last week to have a look at our work and to see how it had coped with the effects of the winter storms beating down on it. We’re delighted to say that, despite them being up for almost a year, the pictures are still looking great. Three of the billboards are still up, so if you’re in the area, have a look and let us know what you think.

Rephotography (or “then and now” photography as it is sometimes called) seems to have really taken off recently, with lots of people doing similar projects to mark events and anniversaries. Those that use photographs from the first and second world wars are particularly poignant. Whatever the project, and whether you use digital, or like us, the old-style large format camera with your head stuck under the black cloth, it’s great to see old photographs being used in different ways to be seen by a new generation. The original photographs that we merged our own images with, are over one hundred years old and were taken with a camera similar to ours. I wonder how the city will look in another hundred years… .

Carlisle Road

Carlisle Road

Bishop's Gate

Bishop’s Gate

Bishop's Gate

Bishop’s Gate

Guildhall Square and Peace Bridge

Guildhall Square and Peace Bridge

Information Panel

Information Panel

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Ebrington Installation Begins

It’s been a very hectic few weeks but we’re delighted to announce that the first of our billboard pictures are finally up at Ebrington Square, Derry-Londonderry!

We’ve worked closely with the guys at Pakflatt printers who did a great job printing the 12 foot x 8 foot billboards at a very high quality, then with the help of the Portrait of a City, we installed 3 of the 6 pictures today. It was a long day, up and down ladders, hammering and drilling and chatting to lots of people that have come up to chat about our work, but it was an amazing feeling, stepping back and seeing the work finally up on the walls.

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City Hotel and Peace Bridge Installation

City Hotel and Peace Bridge

City Hotel and Peace Bridge

                                                   One of the many things we love about seeing the work up is that everyone we’ve met has a story to tell, either because they remember buildings in the pictures that have long since gone, or that they recognise people walking down the street in our contemporary pictures. So if you’re in the City of Culture, take a wander through Ebrington Square for a look at the pictures, you might recognise a familiar scene like the old Arch Bar by Bishop’s Gate, the shop selling high quality artificial teeth on Carlisle Road, or the lovely old City Hotel next to the Guildhall.

We’ll be putting the remaining 3 billboards up around the old barracks’ walls in the next couple of weeks, and they’ll stay up through the Turner Prize and into the New Year, so come and have a look for yourself!

Bishop's Gate

Bishop’s Gate

Bishop's Gate Installation

Bishop’s Gate Installation

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Carlisle Road Installation

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Carlisle Road. Can you spot the shop to get your high class artificial teeth?

Out and About

Men at Work

Men at Work

Occasionally, rephotography involves standing in some rather awkward spots, which can be a bit disconcerting when you’ve got your head under the black cloth and you can hear the traffic rumbling past. So it was handy when we found this ‘men at work’ sign that we could hide behind last week, at the Bishop’s Gate.

One of the great things that we’ve noticed whilst we’ve been out in the city with the camera, is how people come up to chat. Sometimes it’s about the camera and they pop their head under the cloth to have a look through the viewfinder at the upside-down, back-to-front image. We have a chat about what we’re doing with the City of Culture, and sometimes people even tell us that they’ve got their own collection of photographic glass plates in their attic that would rival many museum collections, which is what happened last week. If anyone reading this has similar collections of photographs from around the city, at home, however big or small, then I know the guys at the Derry-Londonderry Portrait of a City offices would love to hear from you.

Everyone has great stories about how the area has changed, the buildings that have been taken down, the new ones that have been put up in their place, the shops that come and go and the ones that have stood the test of time. It’s those stories that we love to hear and they are what we try to capture in our images, showing the passage of time and the changes that have occurred over the past 100 years, in one single photograph.

The City Walls

The City Walls