Unfamiliar Journeys

Photography by Alan McKernan
University of Liverpool Art Gallery, 3 Abercromby Square
7th April - 28th July 2006

Reviewed by Mark Langshaw

It seems like you can’t go anywhere in this city without encountering road works and redevelopment, so an exhibition exploring the changing face of Liverpool is very appropriate at present.

Alan McKernan - a photography lecturer with an affinity for the traditional medium of silver based black and white photography - introduces us to the darker side of Liverpool. From the Liver Building to the city’s cultural quarters, those iconic landmarks we barely notice anymore are presented to us in a fresh and unique light. Each shot is meticulously timed, composed whilst each location was devoid of pedestrians and traffic. The result is eerie and unsettling, yet there is something startling about the way the architectural landscape immediately arrests your attention.

Moving away from the city centre and into the residential heart of Liverpool, McKernan presents us with an earnest and enthralling look at local life through the use of dramatic lighting qualities. Specialist hand-printing techniques were applied to further the rustic feel of the haunting images.

To coincide with this exhibition, Liverpool University Press have released a publication also entitled ‘Unfamiliar Journeys’. It features one hundred images of the city and is can be purchased during the show.

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