Around Christmas time 2016, I was walking through what was once the thriving retail pulse of Bradford City Centre. Gone were the rows of bustling high street shops, to be replaced by empty units and row after row of 'To Let' signs. I remember having to catch my breath, feeling emotionally punched by the reality of a now derelict landscape.
However, Bradford is in by blood. A proud Bradfordian through and through, I was determined to capture the renaissance of a city centre that was slowly replacing this space and extending it beyond that of a retail one. Out of the relics of the past is emerging a movement of artists who are occupying the empty spaces to offer the public a 'wider experience' as a way of getting them back into the City Centre. Again, I had to smile at the fact that it was artists that were the catalyst for change.
I spent two months documenting the regeneration of Bradford City Centre. What transpired was a sense of a 'phoenix rising from the ashes' - a renewed optimism and vigour from the people who live and work in the city. It captures an evolution, from how it was, to the influences that have provided a catalyst for change, to how the regeneration process has come to fruition.
The exhibition launched on the 18th March 2017 and coincided with the very first 'Made Bradford' outdoor, arts, crafts and produce market. Proud to also be a co-founder of the latter, I was thrilled that 'Big Screen Bradford' identified the importance of both projects and showcased my exhibition on their screen for two months.