Idyllic hut in a rural idyll

Idyllic hut in a rural idyll

I’ve been photographing an old grain store on the edge of Lewes as it becomes disabled-access accommodation, located right in the midst of the South Downs National Park. The South Downs Way, the footpath that spans the length of the Park for 100 miles from Winchester to Eastbourne, runs along the ridge in the background of this photo.

Next to the large agricultural building, a little dwelling has sprung up as well. I have been watching this shepherd’s hut take shape over the months and love the way it sits so prettily in its surroundings. On my most recent visit, the sun was low in the sky as evening approached, casting raking light across the site. This made it challenging to photograph but I was interested in the drama it created.

I had to align myself within the shadow of the hut and peer around it with my camera to catch the workmen. You can find more photographs of this lovely project here.

My talk went well at the Lewes History Group last week. I have another one coming up, this time at the Paddock Arts Studios (Paddock Lane, Lewes, BN7 1TW at 3pm). I will be speaking about my project documenting the transition of the old industrial Harvey’s Depot into a state-of-the-art cinema. If you are nearby on the 10th November, please join us.

If you have a building project, workplace or event that you are thinking of photographing, please get in touch.

A magnificent window

Brighton Corn Exchange window

Isn’t this beautiful? It is one of the windows at the Brighton Dome Corn Exchange after refurbishment but still awaiting its many of panes of glass (I just counted space for 185 of them). I have repeatedly been drawn to photographing these huge windows while documenting the redevelopment of this beautiful 200-year-old building. They are magnificent in all their guises, even with broken panes and peeling paint, but to finally start to see them renewed is very pleasing indeed.

Cataloguing with my camera the changes that a building like this undergoes during renovation has many satisfying moments. I find a beauty in all stages of the process, the early messy broken phases through to the clean and ordered final stretch. This build still has a long way to go to completion, but it is offering up glimpses of how spectacular the finished product will be. More photographs of the Brighton Dome Corn Exchange can be found here.

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A team effort is required to install windows

A team effort is required to install windows

Another section of my new website is a gallery of working portraits. This week’s photograph shows a group of builders installing plate glass windows onto the exterior of an office block. This is a skilled and complicated manoeuvre taking place high above the ground.

What interests me particularly in photographing workers in any line of business is the fact of documenting and honouring processes that often go unnoticed or become invisible once a project is complete.

Where buildings are concerned, we live, shop, work and relax in them, usually with little thought of the human endeavour responsible for making them possible. I like being able to show glimpses into this world that many people know little about.

More galleries of work environments can be found here, including local food producers and the RNLI on an air-to-sea rescue mission.

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Chris Ofili’s design looks like snow

Chris Ofili’s design looks like snow

The Stephen Lawrence Trust is transforming into a co-working hub for architects, designers and creatives and I have been documenting this building process.

As you have no doubt seen from my previous photos of the week, the introduction of orange is very significant to the new design for the Centre. On my most recent

visit, the strip of lights under the balcony edge were on, turning this little corner so warm and vibrant it made Chris Ofili’s beautiful window screen look like snow in the background.

You can find out more about all the great things that the Stephen Lawrence Trust does here, a link to the new co-working hub website here and more of my photographs from this site here.

Southover Grange is open

Southover Grange is open

The renovation of Southover Grange is complete and awaiting its first event. It looks beautiful and glamorous and I envy the couples who will be using it to celebrate their weddings. I began documenting the restoration of this Tudor manor in the centre of Lewes as the builders were moving in and returned to the site several times over the following 12 months. It is a rambling house with an interesting history and an important role in the fabric of the town. This was the registry office for many years (and is now again) so it was a place of weddings and the recording of births and deaths.

One of the most significant aspects of this project for me was how my photographs triggered memories that people felt compelled to share. I heard from numerous residents about their personal connections to the house, including several whose parents were caretakers and for whom the upstairs flat was home. A couple of registrars also came forward with anecdotes about years of working at the Grange and the countless weddings they performed. I like that a building can hold so many positive associations for a community and that my photographs have the potential to bring them to life. My exhibit of this project is still showing at Pelham House in Lewes until the 23 May. All my Southover Grange photographs can be found here.

Raking shadows at the Depot

Raking shadows at the Depot

So often my visits to the Depot Cinema are in brilliant sunshine and this week’s shoot was no exception. The warm spring sun was streaming into the building, casting raking shadows across the floor of the new cinema restaurant. What with the blue protective film still on the windows, the large Xs marked in tape, the rectangular blocks of floor

covering and the one lone builder, the scene was awash with angular shadows and light. More photos from this shoot can be found here. For almost two years I have been documenting the refurbishment of this old brewery depot in the centre of Lewes as it becomes a new community cinema. My client uses the photos to build on the excitement of the local residents and film buffs.

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