The lives of the working-class and the decaying fabric of the industrial north are the inevitable main themes of many of the images, with photographers like John Davies and Parr finding truth and beauty where others would see only ugliness and squalor.
It’s a timely show, and you wonder what such photographers would think of Liverpool’s startling regeneration, and the Open Eye’s shiny new home.
The Anfield Home Tour Commissioned by Liverpool Biennial By Kenn Taylor It’s rather surreal to be taken on a tour of a city you live in, but then this is quite a different tour.
The shots are very much of their time, nearly all from the 1980s; they feature some of the most influential British photographers of the period, many of whom cut their teeth in Liverpool, including Tom Wood and Martin Parr.Open Eye Gallery has been promoting photography in Liverpool since it was founded in the 1970s.This will be the last exhibition in the Wood Street space that it has occupied since the early 90s, before it moves to a new, larger home on the waterfront.We asked the staff to tell us their favourite and the most weird or wonderful from the collections. Records from the South Yorkshire Lunatic Asylum dating back to 1872. Council committee notes from 1848 show how litter and anti-social behaviour was an issue, with reports of ‘serious accidents’ caused by ‘persons throwing orange peel on the footpaths and on the streets’. Records noted crime and appearance and were used to identify and help capture criminals including famous local murderer Charles Peace. Weekly menu from Sheffield’s Workhouse from around 1750.These include details of ‘supposed cause of insanity’ with reasons including childbirth, religion, sun-stroke and the bizarrely vague ‘change of life’. Records show a pitiful amount was spent on food with people fed only milk in the mornings, boiled meat or boiled pudding at lunch and bread and cheese or broth in the evenings – not much given the work they had to do and harsh conditions they lived in. ‘Hoof Prints over the Western Front’ – World War One letters from Sheffield soldier and famous illustrator William Smithson Broadhead.Q: How can I discover what materials are in CHRC’s collection? Q: Does the Archives accept donations of materials? ____________________________________________________________________________ Q: How can I discover what materials are in CHRC’s collection?