Liverpool, Old and New

Image of Liverpool at sunset

I’ve just got back from a whirlwind trip to the UK, where I spent most of the time in my hometown of Liverpool.

Spending most of my time in Liverpool meant that I had the opportunity to do some research and photos for my photography project – Hamilton and Liverpool: Two ports, two stories.

This project is based on my perceptions of these two cities, which, though sitting on opposite sides of the Atlantic, have some things in common.

Image of love locks at Liverpool waterfront
Hundreds, possibly thousands, of lovelocks are tied to chains along the Mersey.

I first saw Hamilton when I was en route to Niagara Falls shortly after I moved to Canada. I was awestruck as we reached the top of the Burlington skyway and I looked to my right to see Hamilton’s industrial waterfront in all its glory. I was mesmerized, immediately recognizing and feeling some affinity with it as I was momentarily transported in my mind, back to northwest England. Hamilton and Liverpool are two cities that have risen to prominence as great ports, experienced major decline and are now regenerating and redefining themselves.

Image of New Brighton Beach and Seaforth Docks
People swimming at New Brighton beach with Seaforth docks in the background.

Liverpool looks like different place after almost 30 years of development and each time I go back I can see the impact of new initiatives that now have the city buzzing with people and activity. The grandeur of the five red cranes hovering over the horizon at Seaforth announce that the port business is alive and kicking. The many bars and restaurants in town speak to how the city has become a centre for entertainment and tourism. A panoramic view from atop the Anglican cathedral gives a brilliant overall impression of the city as one that is using the old to feed into the new. This is most evident where old architecture has been retained for new developments and new buildings fit or complement the older ones in an area. I’m amazed at how areas around Duke Street, for instance, are vibrant and enticing, which was definitely not the case in the 70’s and 80’s.

Image of wakeboarding in Liverpool
Wakeboarding in Liverpool with the Anglican cathedral looming in the background.

Even housing, new builds and renos, often take this approach. I visited the old terraced “Welsh Streets”, seemingly so familiar. I grew up on Claudia Street, which backed onto Gwladys Street, next to Goodison Park. Even though it was demolished in the 80’s I still well remember what it was like growing up in a terraced street, in our case, eight of us in a two-up, two-down. Ok, we did have a tiny back kitchen and used the attic but to say it was cramped would be an understatement.

The Welsh streets are now being redeveloped with a modern-day focus on more light, more space and safety, while retaining much of the outer look of the original buildings. This offers a great sense of continuity and community that appeals to a lot of people.

 

Image of the Welsh Streets
Image of one of the Welsh Streets (Kinmel Street) as it awaits renovation.

You can find information on the Anglican Cathedral’s Twilight Thursdays here

The Photography Show Goes On!

After  a great launch  the  Helios Taranteau photography show continues for the next three weeks.  You can see my work and that of three other photographers at:

Paint Cabin, 723 Gerrard Street East, Toronto,  on

Fridays 6-10pm

Saturdays 1pm-12am

Sundays 1pm-5pm

We’ll also be having a closing party the evening of June 15th. Come and join us!

Image of Niagara Falls SkyWheel at nght
Detail of ferris wheel in Niagara Falls, Canada

Photography Show Presented by Helios Taranteau

Image of poster for Helios Taranteau photography show

I’m very excited to announce that I am one of four photographers taking part in a photography show presented by Helios Taranteau!

As you can see from the poster, the opening night is coming soon – Thursday, May 18th  from 6-.11.00 p.m. at Paint Cabin, 723 Gerrard Street East inToronto. The photography show will run for three weeks so if you can’t make it to the opening, you still have up until June 8th to see what’s on show and for sale. You can go to www.paintcabin.com to check opening times.

Helios Taranteau is the brainchild of photographer Chris McCallan, and you’ll be hearing more about it in the future. Details of the four photographers showing images in this show are below. I hope to see you there!

Elizabeth Stanton:

Originally from Liverpool, Elizabeth has a keen interest in landscapes, whether urban, rural, familiar, not so familiar or in between.

She has taught photography as a tool in community development programming. She has also exhibited in Artscape events, at Neilson Park Creative Centre and is a member of Toronto West Arts Collaborative.

After leaving school many years ago, she saved enough money to buy her first camera, a Nikon FM. That gave her the drive to explore her surroundings with a more deliberate and searching eye. Liverpool, her home town, was at the time embarking on a long journey of healing and regeneration after many years of decline. Elizabeth jumped right in. She began taking photographs of the Albert Dock, an area that in 1981 still showed signs of the ravages of World War 2 bombing campaigns and industrial decline. Upon emigrating to Canada she was struck by the parallels she saw in Ontario’s own urban landscape and has continued documenting our ever-changing environment with the same tenacity and adroit sensibilities that have become her calling card.

Harold Staats:

Harold has had a lifelong love affair with photography and everything photographic. His photography has encompassed many styles and genres, including photojournalism, art and concert photography.

Harold has photographed many concerts and music festivals since the 1970’s. His work includes photos of iconic stars like David Bowie, Paul McCartney,  Rod Stewart, Bruce Springsteen, the Rolling Stones and Annie Lennox. In 2016 he won first place in the Beach International Jazz Festival Photo Exhibit. He has exhibited his work in numerous galleries over the years including the Gladstone Hotel (Lost Images Photo Exhibit), Contact Photography Festival at Scarborough Bluffs Gallery, Gallery 401, Forsyth Gallery, and many others. His work has appeared in various publications including the 1988 Toronto’s Toronto – a city-wide photo celebration and exhibition of life in our city. His photos are in the collections of the Toronto Transit Commission and the City of Toronto Archives.

Harold has always been interested in the history of photography and photographic processes.  He has been a member of the Photographic Historical Society of Canada for many years. He has studied at Ontario College of Art. His latest effort merges all of these interests into an abstract and dynamic new showing.

Peter Young:

Peter Young is an award winning photographer who has produced images for approximately 40 years. Since his retirement in 2001 he has concentrated on the development and perfection of his photographic skills. His images have been shown in several publications and he has received awards from and placement in juried shows in the Oshawa, Brampton, Burlington, Hamilton, Milton, Mississauga, Niagara Falls and Toronto areas. He has had solo and groups shows at the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto, the Art Gallery of Burlington and the Art Gallery of Hamilton, as well as during the Grand Artist Walk in Hamilton.

In 2006 he turned his interest to infrared digital photography which has resulted in the creation of numerous images. He has a keen interest in abstraction and altered reality images which generate thought and introspection in the viewer. Prepare for an ethereal visual treat.

Chris McCallan:

A Ryerson photography grad and scholarship winner, he has been a commercial photographer for over 25 years, based in Toronto. His commercial work has appeared in the Globe & Mail, the Toronto Sun, the National Post, Time Magazine and Newsweek. He has photographed annual reports for Visa Canada, The Canadian Diabetes Association, the CACL, the Wellesley Hospital and several other organizations. He has exhibited at CAPIC’s juried Contact show “Expose” 2014, the Canadian Cancer Society’s Connections show, and was a top three finisher in the Toronto’s Toronto photo exhibition. His images have been used on television by TVO and featured in numerous billboard campaigns across Canada.

For this exhibit Chris promises NOT to show any commercial work and will be showing a selection of images from his almost 40 years of shooting (he started very, very young). These will be the shots that he enjoys just because….And hey that’s the way it starts for everyone, isn’t it?

Hamilton and Liverpool – Two Ports, Two Stories.

Image of Hamilton Waterfront and Burlington Skyway

I’m just getting back to working on my current photography project, Hamilton and Liverpool – Two Ports, Two Stories. At last! So many distractions and competing priorities in life but you always know the ones you’ll come back to.

I don’t have the official title yet but I’ll stay with Hamilton and Liverpool – Two Ports, Two Stories for the moment. The project is looking at  two cities that are over 3,000 miles apart and on different continents. Different backgrounds, different histories and yet strikingly similar in a number of ways.

Image of the six-sided clock on Victoria Tower at Salisbury Dock in Liverpool
Six-sided clock on Victoria Tower at the entrance to Salisbury Dock in Liverpool on a foggy day

I grew up in Liverpool in the UK. A city with a remarkable history that dates back more than 800 years, it thrived as an international port in its heyday, serving the transatlantic trades that developed before and as a result of the industrial revolution. Until more recent times it was in an extended period of decline due to shifts in trade and manufacturing over the past century. Now it seems to be embarking on a vibrant new life.

Image of steam clouds over Stelco in Hamilton
Steam clouds kicking off from Stelco

One of my earliest memories from when I came to Canada was on the approach to the Burlington Skyway as I headed down to Niagara Falls to see one of the great wonders of the world. As the car moved up the arch of the Skyway I glimpsed the distant skyline of Toronto off to the left, but the scene to my right drew a gasp and left me mesmerized. There I saw the iconic view of the Hamilton industrial waterfront, in all its grime and glory. I was immediately taken back to my childhood in the industrial north of England and I loved it. It didn’t just resonate, it was as if I knew the place. I often go down to Niagara and I still look enthusiastically off to the right for that inspiring view. I suspect not many people would say that.

Abstract image of hydro tower and blue sky
My view of Hamilton – natural and man-made

So, two cities, two ports that have thrived, experienced decline and are now recreating themselves. This is the story I want to tell, and from the way I see it.

Image of Banksy-Style art in Hamilton and Burlington
Banksy imitation image on the lighthouse at the end of the pier at the Burlington canal

I’ve included some initial images here, before I get into the real meat of the project, and there’s a bit of a side story.  Last weekend I was down at Hamilton beach with my husband and walked over to the pier at the Burlington canal, where we made two discoveries. The first was a Banksy-style image on the lighthouse – or more of an adaptation. The second was a live coyote trapped under the bridge above the water. That was a surprise! Poor thing was scared and apparently frozen to the wall of the pier. We alerted police and animal services and you can see the outcome here .

 

New Photography Project Launch

Image from a photography project about industrial Hamilton, Ontario

I love projects and a photography project is best of all. I can be involved in every element it from throwing about ideas, brainstorming, planning, creating, producing, promoting and everything else that goes with it. This is image is a sort of draft or sketch to kick things off. I wonder if anyone knows where it is……

Hot off the Press…. New Sales Gallery

Image of Jokulsarlon Lagoon Iceland in sales gallery

Yes, it’s an old term, but I’m sure you  get it! If you look closely you’ll see this framed artwork is now available in my very own Sales Gallery, which is finally here! You can click on the the tab at the top of this page, have a browse and feel free to send me any questions.