Simon Buckley is an artist living in the heart of Salford. Not Quite Light is a project which uses the half light of dawn and dusk as a metaphor for transition.
The first NQL project was “From Old Mill To The End Of Empire” which explored the northern edge of the city centre of Manchester, where we can see Victorian glories collide with the unsentimental drive to modernise and reacquaint the city with economic triumph. The project examines the transition of Manchester’s economic, industrial and spiritual heritage as it builds for the future.
Often, though, the destruction and construction seem ill-thought out. Car parks lie, like dried up lakes where once stood grand brick buildings of industry, and the idea of the new age soothing the injured past seems an impossible thought, despite the glistening lights of recent architecture.
It appears that the council’s policy is to establish the city centre as the focal point for growth, hoping that the new prosperity seeps northwards like ink on blotting paper. However, as the city undergoes its transition, it often feels to me as if Swan Street and Great Ancoats Street act as a tarmac moat, and that very little wealth has managed to make it across to the north side.
The second project is “From Trinity To The Crescent”. Salford and Manchester are separated by the Irwell and in recent years there has been a frenzied building programme along both borders as each authority flexes its new economic muscle. This set of photographs will investigate the historic connections between the two cities and look at how redevelopment is changing the relationship between both cities.
“You Live Us, We Live With You” is a major commission from 5 Plus Architects. I’m photographing 7 buildings in Manchester and 4 in London and will look at the relationship we have with the buildings that shape our city streets and environment, and also how the buildings survive the chaos of life around them, which often conflicts with the cleaner vision of the architects.
Simon Buckley has worked as a photographer for numerous national magazines and other media and has exhibited in the UK, France, Germany, Hong Kong and China.