Urban Stories: Decay and Regeneration

posted in: Art, Landscape, Painting, Photography | 4

I have been making a series of works inspired by an old industrial site situated on the banks of the River Lune, in my home town of Lancaster in North West England. The majority of the old factories and warehouses here had been earmarked for demolition to make room for a new affordable housing development, and apartment blocks. Long before the construction companies moved in these old buildings had been left to rot. I began working at the site at the beginning of 2013 and have returned several times since to follow the progress of the development.

On my first visit to the site I got chatting to some people who had been employed at one of the factories, and were coming here daily to watch the buildings being demolished. They said that an important part of the town’s history was being wiped out, and expressed a mistrust of the developers, and those responsible for ringing the changes. It occurred to me that their memories and experiences had woven their way in to the fabric of the buildings; and as the buildings came down those memories would fade with them. It seemed wasteful that the old factories were not being restored to their former glory and incorporated into the new development. On the other hand, new people would soon come here to live in the affordable housing. Perhaps they would be optimistic and hopeful for a positive future; beginning the cycle all over again, and starting the next page in the history of the area.

The more work I did at the site the more it began to mirror a whole range of human emotions, fears and desires. Buildings seemed to gaze out across the river in sorrow; bulldozers transformed into greedy, powerful oppressors, fulfilling their dastardly plans; whilst packages containing new building materials appeared to glow with the hope and excitement of creation.

Please view a selection of the images below, click on an image to view in the carousel:

All images copyright © 2012-2015, Debbie Yare, All rights reserved

 

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4 Responses

  1. sally low

    Hi Debbie

    I’m a mature degree photography student, I’ve been so inspired by your amazing Urban Decay story and your blurb book.

    • Debbie Yare

      Hi Sally,

      Its really good to read this, I’m so pleased you took the time to look at the work and comment. Please come and join me on FB or Flickr if you use those services (https://www.flickr.com/photos/debbie_yare and https://www.facebook.com/DebbieYareFineArtandPhotography). Or you can subscribe here to follow the blog using the form at the bottom of the page. It would be really good to see some of your work online if you have put any out there. It must be exciting to be a Photography student right now, its always an exciting prospect to make new work.

      Thanks again. Regards.
      Debbie

  2. Shelley Whiting

    I loved the industrial landscapes series. There is a lot of movement and organic movement in the work. You can also sense the story and life behind the buildings. Thoughtful and beautiful work.

    • Debbie Yare

      Hiya Shelley, Thanks very much for taking the time to visit and comment. It is always good to receive feedback about the work, and I’m very pleased that you enjoyed the industrial landscapes 🙂 I wonder how you found me? I see a blog link attached to your comment, so I’ll pop over and visit very soon.
      Thanks again,
      All the best,
      Debbie

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