#16 StreetPhotography+ Street focuses on urban environments that surround us and the communities that use them. Launched to coincide with the announcement of Picturing High Streets a digital mass participation partnership project between Photoworks and Historic England. The street has historically been a site for studies of social life and the photographic medium has served to capture the lives and relationships of the communities that inhabit them. These elements are explored by the artists and writers of this issue. Featuring work by artists and partners from Picturing England’s High Streets, Liz Wewiora offers a comprehensive argument that we are in fact the portraits of our High Streets. For this issue, we have invited two of our current six Picturing England’s High Streets artists in residence to discuss their journey thus far making work. Artist and Curator, Tim Mills, explains the importance of the high street as ‘the beating heart of a place’ and shares his approach to creating work in Coventry. Whereas Lucy Hunter tells us about the work she has been doing with a group of children from Prescot Primary School to explore ideas of portraiture, perspective, and place. Looking further afield Ricardo Reverón Blanco examines Marcello Coslovi’s ongoing body of work to determine the role of abstraction in documentary street photography. Finally, we are delighted to publish as our Community Submission Roxana Savin’s image taken in Sibiu, Romania that is part of a larger project investigating how the local society and culture identify themselves in a shifting system of globalising cultural trends. We hope you enjoy this issue!
Historic England and Photoworks invite you to look at the high street as never before. Over the next 12 months, we’re asking you to uncover the stories behind the shopfronts and post your own photographs on Instagram using #PicturingHighStreets. Your photos will contribute to an unofficial photographic archive of the English high street; charting and celebrating the history and experiences of the people and places that make up an often-overlooked fixture in all our lives.
Starting on Wednesday 28 September 2022, you’re invited to join in with a fortnightly challenge that will create a rich and varied picture of our high streets. To complete the challenges – fronted by photographers, celebrities and community leaders – you will need to visit your local high streets and discover the secret stories of these places of commerce, conversation and community.
The most evocative photographs will be featured on the Picturing High Streets Instagram channel. A selection of photographs submitted before 6 December 2022 will be displayed in a national outdoor exhibition opening in March 2023 filling advertising space, outdoor exhibition panels and shop windows on high streets across England. These photographs will also enter the Historic England Archive, the nation’s archive for England’s historic buildings, archaeology and social history.
We know high streets are struggling. Their futures feel uncertain and they are facing a pivotal moment in their long histories. Help us record a year in the life of the high street and tell the stories behind the shopfronts.
Follow @PicturingHighStreets on Instagram and post your pictures using #PicturingHighStreets.
Historic England is the public body that looks after England’s historic environment. We champion historic places to help people understand, value and care for them.
Photoworks champions photography for everyone. We are an international platform, global in reach, and have provided opportunities for artists and audiences since 1995.
Picturing High Streets is produced in partnership with GRAIN Projects, Impressions Gallery, Open Eye Gallery, PARC (Photography and the Archive Research Centre), Photofusion, QUAD/FORMAT, Redeye, ReFramed and The Photographers’ Gallery.