Streets of Liverpool

By photographer Michael Kirkham
Hoax Liverpool & Hopskotch Street Kitchen, Stanley Street, L1
Until Sunday 15th of September 2013

Review and interview by Redskye

Streets of Liverpool is an engaging theme for a photographic exhibition. Michael certainly has an eye for a picture and thoroughly enjoys using the camera to capture what he sees. He was a regular at the Liverpool Occupy camp back in the winter of 2011/12 with camera in hand and documented in pictures many of the participants and this is where I first met him, he also displayed photographs as part of an ‘Occupy’ art exhibition in 2012.

Many of the photographs on display are monochrome and taken on a digital camera. Michael took some time in between saying hello to friends at the opening night to give me his personal insight into each of the photographs up on display. Here I cover the three pictures Michael forwarded to Nerve to accompany this review, the rest of the photographs on display are well worth calling in to view.

“Burn is an image I took on the day of Thatcher’s funeral, and this is the party they had on the steps of St.George’s Hall and it was quite a rambunctious affair. I was enjoying it. I milled around and took a few images. A crowd of people had an effigy of Thatcher which is here and I heard people talking about burning it, so I followed the crowd around to the bottom of the steps and within a minute or two there were hundreds of people around and they set alight to the effigy. I just scrummed into the crowd and started taking shots” Michael added “I took six frames and two of them came out brilliant and here is one of them.” Burn is a superb picture, which accompanies this review, if you hadn’t known when and where it was taken you would be left wondering what’s going on – I certainly did.

The second picture that accompanies this review is ‘Stop!’ Michael explains it as follows; “This is one of my obsessions with demonstrations and courts and police and violence”. This photograph was taken on the James Larkin march on July 20th this year. Michael continues, “I go on all the marches because I like the vibrancy - the energy in these kinds of marches. When I go to these marches I’m just there to take pictures.” Michael adds, “This is a guy getting arrested in the background and this is his girlfriend stopping me taking the picture. It was perfect I just looked at him and laughed, I was thinking you’ve just made my day. I like the confrontation between these two [top left], you can’t see it. That’s a guy squaring right up to a copper there and you’ve got all these people in the background here watching the arrest of this guy here. I like it ‘cos’ the guy was getting arrested because he was starting a fight with me because I was taking a picture of his girlfriend in the first place.”

“Twilight is [one of] a series of shots I took when I was going through a little bit of a time of playing with light and shadows.” Michael added “This is just before sunset, I just like the shadows that were it cast by it [the setting sun] as an image. I thought it just had something to it, so I thought it worked as an image.” While not the most dramatic of the three pictures accompanying this review it’s still a strong image. Michael’s pictures are often eye catching, dramatic and a refreshing change from many of the established photographers who are fawned over, he takes any potential opening to show his photographic work and it's enjoyable seeing his work on display to the public, I personally look forward to his next exhibition.

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