Tom Wood - The DPA Work (A Reprise - Revoiced): Photographs of Rainhill Hospital & Cammell Laird Shipyard
AbstractIn 2013, in collaboration with Tom Wood, Quayle curated an exhibition entitled The DPA Work – Photographs of Rainhill Hospital and Cammell Laird Shipyard at CASC (Contemporary Art Space Chester), University of Chester. The exhibitions featured Wood’s photographs of both institutions prior to their closure. Wood was originally supported by the Documentary Photography Archive and the Open Eye Gallery in conjunction with the mental health charity MIND. The DPA was founded by Audrey Linkman and established in Manchester in 1985. Linkman commissioned photographers with whom she collaborated in negotiating and gaining access into different walks of life across the North West. The exhibitions at CASC ran concurrently and formed part of the Parallel Programme for Look 13 Liverpool International Photography Festival. The project, for which I was lead researcher also involved students undertaking an Experiential Learning module. This involved their engagement with former shipyard workers and research into established as well as community based groups in recovering narratives and objects in order to reactivate lost dialogues. The students also made visual responses to the the exhibition’s context which were also formed part of the exhibition. This project has also been embedded as part of a teaching methodology in BA Photography at the University of Chester, which encourages and fosters ‘socially engaged practices’ across a range of contexts which will also be explored as well as visually evidenced as part of this paper.
CitationQuayle, C., (2019). Tom Wood - The DPA Work (A Reprise - Revoiced): Photographs of Rainhill Hospital and Cammell Laird Shipyard. Paper presented at APHE (Association for Photography in Higher Education) Summer Conference: Photography and Collaboration (Collaboration as a Pedagogy), Coventry, 10 - 12 July 2019. Coventry: Coventry University,
DescriptionThe research encompasses debates related to mental health, ageing and institutional structures at the end of the 1980s, set against the backdrop of the deindustrialisation of Britain, and specifically, the dismantling of these structures in the North West of England as well as elsewhere. The research is based in part in a loss of place and identity, on a physical as well as psychological level, in an exploration of the post industrial city and landscape as a cinematic space of encounter and dialogue. The project also engaged in what could be described as a form of ‘ventriloquism’ where conceptually the images and documentation reconstitutes a polyphony of voices, practices and ways of being, which reanimate those, whom have lost their voice or ‘place’ in society, or are either disenfranchised and dispossessed politically, socially and psychologically. At the same time the reprise of this work can be construed as a celebration of life and resilience in the face of societal pressures and change but also one tinged with nostalgia and melancholy. Quayle also commissioned new writing from DPA founder Audrey Linkman, and Clare Shaw is a leading performance poet, who in her writing, has drawn on her own experience of psychiatric care in Liverpool. Quayle invited Shaw to write new poetry in response to the Rainhill work, which were integrated as part of the edit, layout and design for which Wood and I also collaborated. A three volume collection of books is due to be published by Steidl.
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