The Pause Projects has taken me into so many abandoned, vacated or forgotten places.
As part of the Birmingham Dust exhibition (June 2018), I am showing here the objects that have been liberated from numerous places over the last 18 months.
The Roundhouse was built by the Corporation of Birmingham as a mineral and coal wharf for the railway. It is grade 2* listed. It was built on a small triangular parcel of land, which sits directly between the Birmingham Canal and the former London & North Western Railway in 1874.
It was the subject of an architectural competition in the early 1870s and the winning design was by William Henry Ward, a local architect based in Paradise Street.
Part of the Pause Project.
The shoot was undertaken in November 2017
The Municipal Bank was a savings bank HQ in Birmingham, set up by an Act of Parliament in 1916. It was unique in the UK. Designed by Thomas Cecil Howitt in 1933 the building is listed grade 2.
As a key part of the Pause Project, limited edition images of the Bank have been purchased by investors. The Bank has been in disuse for years and is now to be part of the University of Birmingham.
COVENTRY EVENING TELEGRAPH
This cavernous and complex building offered an unplanned opportunity to shoot, armed just with my iPhone in 2017.
The site occupies a huge 50,000 sq ft space - it's the purpose built printworks, and former HQ of the Coventry Evening Telegraph newspaper, constructed in 1957 during Coventry's post-war boom.
The building exudes the marks and traces of its heavy, daily grind of ink, paper and machinery.
In editing a series from the Pause Project Philip found he had shot a notable series of floors.
The texture, light and especially the marks and trails of human habitation were left for one to imagine the uses.
These were primarily found in John Madin's studio and office, 123 Hagley Road, Birmingham.
The Pause Project led Philip to this, the Clarendon Suite, purpose designed by John Madin in 1971. It is huge at 78,000 sq ft. It is due for demolition to make way for seniors' housing.
It has very few windows, thus enabling privacy within. Philip found a few which allowed him to shoot in his preferred mode, with found light. The whole building had been vacated with just a few fascinating finds like a lone cup and some regalia, but the brass handrails proffered an implied processional grasping of many hands.
As part of the Pause Project, Herbert House was shot in 2017 in its vacated state, it was once a Vodafone office.
It was bought by Pimlico Capital to create a series of residential apartments.
The trace of human life was visible throughout; at its most extreme - the removal of a whole straircase!
Another in the series The Pause Project. Gilders' Yard is a group of buildings, part of Birmingham's industrial heritage being taken to a new life as resedinetial apartments. Shot in 2017.
The site has a fascinating history dating back to Francis Webb, who were the first manufactory on the site c. 1864, located behind the frontage buildings on Harford Street. Francis Webb manufactured highly decorative pencil holders and thimbles.
The next manufacturer to locate to the site was John Ashford and Sons, who had the (now Grade ii* listed) building purposely constructed for their use. They mass manufactured a variety of items including cufflinks and buttons from the factory. Their range was typically geometrical in nature and consisted of enamelled decoration and patterns etched into solid panels. The scale of decoration is notably different from the earlier delicate patterns of Francis Webb.
This is a powerful part of Birmingham's visible iconography - Junction 6 of the M6 motorway as it intersects with the A38M.
Viewed from the highly underpopulated waterways that snake through the underbelly of this roaring space; the scale and power of the concrete in its muscular, but also intimate grain, was the purpose of this shoot in 2017.
Philip is studying concrete and its potential to be used as a use for photographic imagery.
At Tate Modern The Tanks, for their existing surfaces and the Blavatnik for its fresh concrete, served up a hugely rich series of images all taken on an iPhone, 2017. It is the intimacy of the view that records the making and the rub of time.
CHRISTOPHER WRAY BUILDING
The former Christopher Wray Lighting Factory, Eastside, Birmingham, is an eclectic mix of buildings which has developed since the mid 18th century from a row of cottages to a light industrial complex. Now Grade 2 listed. Its most recent use was as the workshops and showroom for Christopher Wray lighting, who stopped using it around 10 years ago.
Looking across to the more established side of the street into the heart of the Jewellery Quarter, this group of three buildings reaches to four storeys, one with a turret. Acquired for long-term and ambitious development by Blackswan as the value of the Jewellery Quarter spreads east.
A classic group of participants in the Pause Project with many traces of cafe, retail and residential life caught on camera here.
This is a series of four separate buildings. The Jaguar Pub, 1 Lamb Street, the garage in Lamb Street and The Coventry Evening Telegraph building. The image making day involved a move through spaces that exuded a manifest spirit of past use, life and productivity. The images draw you in to imagine the pursuit of work, conversations and crafting to be going on 'just around the next corner'.
Sometimes I feel a melacholic state on shoots; conversely, Coventry offered up a feeling of very recent, if not, in fact, still active life.
4 GREAT HAMPTON STREET
A substantial, three-storey building, adjacent to the previous shoot next door.
The first floor contained a sauna, with its detritus from that use and the top floor housed an office and warehouse space; similarly, a few objects remained.
Sheets of polythene inexplicably hung from many different points; they had aged and were covered with huge amounts of pigeon guano, yet the surfaces seemed almost to have a fish-like, scaley patina.
A pause project, enlivened by the obert presence of pigeons.
The Junction Works is at the heart of Digbeth in Birmingham, on Fazeley Street and part of what is known as Warwick Bar.
The building has a typical two storey street frontage, opening out to large warehouse spaces to the rear, one assumes served by the canal system.
The building was largely empty, making the Pause Project images in these spaces was more about the materiality and spatial quality before its likely new life as an art gallery space - which is a thrilling prospect.