This is my first attempt at a blog so I hope you will give me feedback to help me make this as clear, understandable and interesting as possible.
The Oldham Road Project is an ongoing topographic survey of the area surrounding the A62 which links Manchester with Oldham. The first survey, conducted during the mid 1980's, includes images which document the area undergoing major change. At the time I wrote that the mills were fast becoming a backdrop to foreground change, primarily new housing and trading estates which did not make much of an attempt at helping to preserve local landmarks.
I am now proposing to revisit this project and investigate what has happened to the area since those Thatcher years. When I worked on the first project I was responding to what I found by chance. While walking the streets, I occasionally met people on the street who would tell me things about their neighbourhood, but in the main I was quite isolated. It was not until the work was shown in Oldham and Manchester that I had much idea of what local people thought about what I had found and chosen to photograph. This time I want to be more responsive to local opinion by having this blog and make pictures which investigate features that are identified as having both positive and negative values. I also keen to include images made by local residents and include their commentary.
I wish to start by going back to the places where the original pictures were made over twenty years ago. With this idea in mind I have recently driven along the road and noticed there have been some dramatic changes (a lot of the mills have gone) but I'm surprised to see that some abandoned or run down buildings are still standing. I will also photograph sections surrounding the M60 south Manchester link road which I photographed during its construction in the late 90's.
As with the previous view, l intend to make the main images with a 5X4 inch plate camera and smaller film formats for exhibition but will also post notebook images made with a digital camera for this blog. The finished project will be shown at Gallery Oldham and, possibly, in Manchester and the images will also be made available on the web.
This project has financial support from the Arts Council England, Gallery Oldham, New East Manchester and the University of Bradford. The main activities are intended to run between 2009 and 2011 culminating with exhibitions in the area and some form of publication. Material will be donated to local archives.